If you're experiencing complications from an "inferior vena cava" (IVC) filter, you might want to file a civil lawsuit against the manufacturer of the device, the medical professional who surgically implanted the device, or both. The right attorney can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
You'll want a product liability or medical malpractice lawyer who has experience representing people harmed by failing or defective IVC filters. Your attorney will need to go toe-to-toe with high-powered defense attorneys hired by manufacturers, hospitals, doctors, and insurance companies. But what exactly should you look for in an attorney, and what do you need to know about the attorney-client relationship in cases like these?
In this article, we'll offer:
A good place to start your search for a lawyer is to ask your friends and coworkers for the names of lawyers they trust, but most people don't have a big word-of-mouth network when it comes to lawyers who specialize in product liability and medical malpractice claims.
Most state bar associations have lawyer referral services that can point you in the right direction when you're looking for legal help. They also have websites that allow you to find out if a lawyer is licensed to practice law and if the lawyer has been disciplined for violating ethical rules.
Online resources like Nolo and AllLaw offer free legal information and attorney directories to help you put together a list of potential attorneys to talk to about your IVC filter lawsuit. You can also fill out the form at the top or bottom of this page to connect with an attorney for free.
Remember, you're not just looking for a lawyer who has experience handling lawsuits like yours; you're looking for a lawyer you can trust.
Learn more about how to find the right lawyer for a personal injury case.
When you interview candidates to be your lawyer, be sure to find out:
Remember to consider any special needs you might have, and logistics. For example, do you need an attorney who speaks more than one language? If you'll need to visit the lawyer from time to time, is the lawyer's office close to your house or public transportation? Check out more questions to ask a potential personal injury attorney.
Chances are a lawyer will handle your IVC filter lawsuit on a "contingency fee" basis. This means if you reach an out-of-court settlement, or you win your lawsuit at trial, your lawyer will be paid a percentage of what you receive—usually around one-third of the total. (Learn what your IVC filter case might be worth.)
If you don't receive any money from the other side, your lawyer doesn't get paid. It's important to read the fine print of any attorney-client contract before you sign it, and understand whether you will be on the hook for expenses or "costs" associated with your case if you don't end up with a trial win or settlement. (Get more details on lawyer fees in personal injury cases.)
Even if you think you have a good case, be prepared for a lawyer to turn down the opportunity to represent you. Many lawyers don't take cases if they fall below a certain potential recovery amount, or if a key element of the case is less than clear. Maybe your symptoms suggest that your implanted IVC filter is failing, but if you haven't been diagnosed with a specific health problem, a lawyer might not take your case. (Learn why a diagnosis is often crucial in an IVC filter case.) Be prepared to keep looking and look again as your situation changes.