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What To Look For In A Medical Malpractice Attorney



Most attorneys in the medical malpractice field have selected a side of the courtroom. They either represent injured patient plaintiffs or choose to defend the doctors, hospitals and nurses in professional liability lawsuits filed against those parties. It is rare that an attorney will alternate as far as representation in such disputes. Injured patients in search of someone to represent them need to know what to look for in a medical malpractice lawyer.

Consult A Lawyer Database Or Directory Website

Quite a few Internet sites are available to locate medical malpractice attorneys in a geographic area. They typically specify a particular school the lawyer attended, years of practice, organizational membership and sometimes even a professional peer rating. One of the best sources of such information is the Martindale Hubbell directory. It used to be a thick volume on the shelves of law firm libraries but is now a website used even by lawyers seeking other lawyers for referrals.

The field is a technical one, with its own nuances and specifics. Most medical malpractice cases are complicated, expensive, costly and time-consuming, as well as risky. The attorneys who represent parties in these disputes have to decline more cases than they can take, so it could be challenging to locate one with the right combination of time, talent, experience and interest in your case. Don’t be disheartened, though, as locating a good medical malpractice attorney is certainly achievable.

Candidate Qualifications

Once you have a potential list of candidates, t's important to view the viable ones in terms of a few key considerations. Those considerations should include at least the following:

  • Biographical information
  • Specialty areas of practice
  • Bar specialties or certifications recognized, if any
  • Attorney and/or firm profile of clients, practice areas, recent cases and similar information
  • Attorney and/or firm websites
  • Search engine queries or searches on the attorney’s name and/or firm name
  • Articles or publications by the attorney and/or firm
  • Speeches, panels or seminars by the attorney and/or firm
  • Association memberships
  • Leadership in bar organizations, community organizations, law firm, church or religious group and neighborhood

You should also ask other attorneys for recommendations of attorneys or for their feedback on an individual attorney. You can contact the state bar and ask about violations, complaints, grievances and bar license standing. It's also a good idea to look at the advertising of the attorney or the firm to see the public image portrayed. Last, you should always ask for—and check—references.