Suing a hospital isn’t easy. But, if you have a claim against a hospital for negligence, recovering the financial compensation you deserve could be critical to your physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing. Fortunately, a hospital negligence lawyer can help, and these lawyers routinely help patients and families assert their legal rights.
When choosing a hospital negligence lawyer, it is important to make an informed decision. You need to choose a lawyer who is capable of representing you effectively. The outcome of your case could impact your life for decades to come; and, at the end of the process, you need to feel confident that you received a just outcome. With this in mind, here are 10 questions to ask a hospital negligence lawyer during your free initial consultation:
1. How Much Experience Do You Have in Hospital Negligence Cases?
Due to the complexity of hospital negligence cases, it is important to choose a lawyer who has significant experience representing patients and families in these types of cases. Experience is the only way to learn what to expect from medical malpractice insurance companies, and it is essential for calculating appropriate settlement amounts and deciding when to take cases to trial. In many respects, relevant experience is the single most important factor to consider when choosing a hospital negligence lawyer to represent you.
2. How Much Experience Do You Have with My Specific Type of Case?
In addition to inquiring about the lawyer’s experience in hospital negligence cases generally, you will also want to inquire about his or her experience handling your specific type of case. Misdiagnosis cases, for example, are very different from cases involving surgical mistakes. If a lawyer has successfully handled cases similar to yours previously, he or she will most likely be well-equipped to represent you in your case.
3. What Are Some Examples of Your Recent Cases?
While lawyers cannot discuss details that are protected by the attorney-client privilege, they can discuss their prior cases in general terms. If a lawyer has experience handling cases similar to yours, you may want to ask about these cases specifically to learn more about what you can expect if you decide to move forward.
4. Do You Have Time to Handle My Case?
Good hospital negligence lawyers will be busy, but they will also know how to manage their time effectively. If a lawyer cannot give your case the attention it deserves, he or she should not take you on as a client.
5. Will I Work With You Personally During My Case?
At some law firms, new clients meet with a lawyer initially, but then they end up working with paralegals and legal assistants from that point forward. But, when you have a hospital negligence case, it is extremely important that you are able to work with your lawyer one-on-one. The more time you spend working with your lawyer, the more he or she will learn about your individual circumstances. When it comes to proving your right to compensation, the details matter. As a result, working with your lawyer directly can significantly improve your chances of recovering the full compensation you deserve.
6. Do You Have Former Clients I Can Contact for References?
When clients have a good experience, they will often be more than happy to serve as reference. Individuals who have been through the process know how important it is to have high-quality representation, and they will often want to help people who are facing circumstances similar to their own. While some law firms publish client testimonials and reviews online, there is no substitute for getting a former client’s opinion first hand.
7. What Can I Expect if I Hire You to Represent Me?
Can I call or text you if I have questions? How often will I receive status updates? Will you refer me to a doctor who specializes in diagnosing conditions caused by medical negligence? How aggressively will you negotiate on my behalf? These are all legitimate questions that you should not be afraid to ask—and that any lawyer should be more than willing to answer.
8. What Information Do You Need to Assess the Value of My Claim?
During your initial consultation, one question you cannot expect a lawyer to answer is, “What’s my claim worth?” Determining the value of your claim will require an in-depth understanding of the financial and non-financial consequences of your healthcare provider’s mistake, and your lawyer will need time to make an informed assessment.
However, you can certainly ask what information the lawyer will need to assess your claim—although ideally you shouldn’t have to. An experienced lawyer will proactively explain what you need to know and what information he or she needs in order to evaluate your legal rights.
9. Do You Handle Hospital Negligence Cases On Contingency?
You should be able to hire a lawyer for your hospital negligence case on a contingency-fee basis. This is standard practice, and lawyers handle these types of claims on contingency so that patients and families can get access to justice regardless of their ability to pay. You should not have to pay any fees or costs up front, and you should not have to pay anything at all unless your lawyer helps you secure financial compensation.
10. Will You Take My Hospital Negligence Case to Court if Necessary?
Finally, while you want a lawyer who knows how to negotiate effectively and who will work to settle your case out of court, you also want a lawyer who will take your case to court if necessary. If a fair settlement is not on the table, you need to know that your lawyer will be prepared to fight for the compensation to which you are legally entitled.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Alexandria, LA Hospital Negligence Lawyer
If you think you may have a medical malpractice claim against a hospital in Louisiana, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation. To discuss your case with Alexandria hospital negligence lawyer Chris J. Roy, Jr. in confidence, please call 318-413-6731 or tell us how you would like to be contacted online today.