8 Steps for Hiring the Right Medical Malpractice Attorney

A statute of lady justice before a book and scales of justice

A medical malpractice attorney helps an individual file a lawsuit after they’ve been harmed in a health care setting.

When someone claims a doctor is responsible for their injury or a loved one’s death, the hospital rarely sees it the same way. They may decline to offer any compensation — or offer a meager amount that doesn’t come close to making things right.

The difference between getting the support you deserve and being stuck with unjustified medical expenses often hinges on hiring an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

The best attorneys will fight to hold negligent medical professionals accountable on your behalf, so you can focus on your recovery and family.

Find out if our medical malpractice lawyers can help with your case now for free.

The time that you have to file a claim is limited and varies from state to state, so it’s important to get started as soon as possible. Here are 8 tips for hiring the best medical malpractice attorney for your case.

1. Prepare for the Long Term

A successful medical malpractice lawsuit can provide meaningful compensation to a victim and their family, but it takes time. Even after you have successfully hired a great medical malpractice attorney, negotiations with hospitals and insurers may take months or even years to resolve.

If you suffered a permanent injury or have a condition that’s getting worse, these delays can cause an incredible amount of stress. Victims may also be depleting their savings as medical bills for an injury that never should have happened pile up.

Justice cannot come soon enough, but you can prepare for the long battle ahead by:

  • Connecting with your family and friends for a strong support system when you need help
  • Saving money where you can, especially by finding a legal team that doesn’t charge upfront fees
  • Setting a realistic timeline and expectations, so you are ready for delays or other complications

One family covered their child’s medical costs for an injury that happened during birth until their Massachusetts medical malpractice lawyers secured them $9.67 Million.

Although working with a malpractice attorney may not result in compensation instantly, medical malpractice settlements can make a major difference in many patients’ lives in the long run.

2. Understand If Malpractice Occurred

Medical malpractice is wrong — and it can be prevented in many cases. When it occurs, those responsible need to be held accountable, and those injured need compensation and support.

All hospitals pledge to provide the highest standard of care to their patients in order to prevent harm. When doctors or medical staff act recklessly by being inattentive or not preparing for complications, they may instead further injure their patients, violating their pledge.

Even if you don’t know the exact standards of care that were violated, it is important to find out as much as you can about your injury and those allegedly responsible. This will also help your medical malpractice attorney prepare your case.

The laws that govern medical malpractice vary in each state, but in general, there are 4 essential aspects to every claim:

  1. There was a doctor-patient relationship
  2. A standard of care was violated (negligence)
  3. An injury was caused by the violation
  4. The injury resulted in damages

One man’s stomach pains were dismissed as hemorrhoids — but he actually had colon cancer that doctors did not detect until it had reached stage 4. His New Hampshire medical malpractice lawyers secured him nearly $3 Million.

By shining a light on their mistakes with your claim, you could also prevent other patients from suffering similar outcomes in the future.

3. Determine the Type of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is an umbrella term that covers a range of different case types.

Some of the most common types of medical malpractice claims include:

Once you have an understanding of the type of malpractice you experienced, you can begin searching for a lawyer with experience specific to your case.

In Rhode Island, one woman suffered a stroke only days after her symptoms were dismissed as being a pinched nerve. Our Rhode Island medical malpractice lawyers secured more than $1.5 Million while she recovered.

Remember, regardless of the type of malpractice that occurred, a top lawyer will fight tirelessly for compensation on your behalf.

4. Leverage Personal Connections

At any point in your search for a lawyer, it can be helpful to talk with people you know about your potential case.

You may not feel comfortable sharing the sensitive details of your case, but your friends and acquaintances could have attorney recommendations in your area. They may even share their own experiences of malpractice and how they handled it.

In one New Hampshire failure to diagnose case, a patient went in with breathing difficulties — but the doctors failed to make his lung cancer diagnosis, which delayed when he was able to start treatment. Sokolove Law secured over $3.25 Million on his behalf.

Even if they don’t help you find a medical malpractice attorney, people who have been through the process of filing a legal claim themselves can provide helpful perspective and support.

5. Do Some Research

Consider doing a quick search for medical malpractice law firms and see if you find any familiar names. Since medical malpractice attorneys typically focus on a particular type of case, you should also consider using keywords associated with your situation.

For example, “medical malpractice failure to diagnose cancer,” will yield search results that better correspond with your needs.

Similarly, you could also try looking for the type of attorney you need in your specific area, like "Boston birth injury lawyer" or "Boston medical malpractice lawyer."

Note the experience levels and way firms approach your specific type of malpractice, and write down the firms that stand out to you.

6. Narrow Down Your Options

Once you feel like you have a good list of medical malpractice attorneys, it’s time to trim your findings down to a few strong candidates.

Here are some questions to help you narrow down your options:

  • How is the reputation of the attorney and their firm? See if you can find client reviews that offer valuable insights into the experiences of past clients.
  • How much experience do they have with your case type? It’s a good sign if a firm has been advocating for your case type for many years, and it’s even better if they’ve secured settlements or verdicts for patients with an injury like yours.
  • What is the cost? The best medical malpractice attorneys don’t charge any upfront fees and instead operate on a contingency-fee basis. This means they only get paid if your case is successful.
  • Where are they located? Since case law and regulations are different in each state, you’ll need to have an attorney who understands the laws in your area.

In California, a mother was experiencing a difficult delivery. Doctors tried to use vacuum extractors — but hurt the baby during the process. Our birth injury malpractice attorneys secured $8 Million for the family.

Remove any attorneys that don’t meet your needs from your list, so you can make sure your case can get the best results possible.

7. Contact Your Top Choices

Now that your list is shorter, you’ll want to begin contacting your top choices. You may not get to speak with an attorney during the first phone call, but talking with a case manager is still a great way to see if the firm will be a good match for you.

As you share your story, ask yourself some questions:

  • Are they sensitive and empathetic to your concerns, or do they seem overly pushy?
  • Does the person on the phone make you feel like your case will be in good hands?
  • Do they seem knowledgeable about the path you need to take forward?

This first conversation can give you a good idea of how you may be treated in the future. If you felt heard and received good answers to your questions, you may have found the right firm.

If you’re having second thoughts after you make contact, it’s probably best to try the next option on your list.

8. Select the Best Malpractice Lawyer for You

After talking with your top choices, you may feel ready to make a decision. However, don’t feel pressured to sign with a firm immediately.

Remember, the best medical malpractice law firms have:

  • Decades of experience
  • A proven track record of successful medical malpractice settlements
  • Local offices with a nationwide reach
  • Positive reviews from past clients

In one case, our New York birth malpractice lawyers secured over $6 Million on behalf of a child with cerebral palsy. His jaundice went undetected and untreated, which caused brain damage and, ultimately, CP.

By choosing to work with a top medical malpractice law firm that meets these qualities, you can feel confident that your case will get the attention it deserves.

Find the Best Law Firm for Medical Malpractice Now

Finding the best medical malpractice law firm for you can be difficult, but the finest options will have a team of compassionate and experienced professionals ready to help you throughout your case.

For over 40 years, Sokolove Law has helped medical malpractice victims and their families nationwide get the results they deserve.

We’ve secured over $9.3 Billion for our clients, and we are ready to fight for you. There are no hourly fees or costs to contact us.

Over the years, we’ve gone toe-to-toe with some of the biggest insurers and most powerful medical institutions in America. We advocate for individuals who have been hurt, so their voice isn’t drowned out by another large legal team.

Our medical malpractice lawyers work to help make the legal process as stress-free as possible so you and your family can get the compensation you need. Call (800) 995-1212 now for a free case review.

Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: February 2, 2024