Ask Yourself: Do You REALLY Know Who Your Med Mal Lawyer Is Representing Your Case?
Be Careful if You Use the Internet to Select the Attorney Who Will Represent You in Your Medical Malpractice Lawsuit.
People are using the internet to find lawyers (if you are reading this, that’s exactly what you are probably doing), and conversely, lawyers are using the internet to find clients. The problem is that any lawyer, particularly a medical malpractice attorney, can use the internet to make himself or herself appear more competent and experienced than he or she really is.
Has your medical malpractice lawyer actually tried the cases he or she claims to have tried? Is your lawyer really as competent as he or she claims to be? Who exactly is this trial attorney to whom you have entrusted the successful prosecution of your medical malpractice claim? Be careful. Read the fine print.
Attorney Settlements, Recoveries, Trying and Verdicts
On his web site, does the lawyer talk in terms of “settlements” or “recoveries” he or she has “won”? Terms like “settlements” or “recoveries” are not the same as a word such as “verdicts.” There’s a world of difference between settling a case and trying a case. A big settlement doesn’t tell you anything about the attorney. A big settlement, without more, tells you only that the case was big, not that the attorney was any good. You should ask whether the “big settlement” came after only a few letters or whether the attorney had to fight for it. You should ask whether the big settlement was reached midway through trial, a good indicator of whether the attorney’s courtroom skills had the insurance company sufficiently worried about the likely jury verdict. You should ask your attorney whether he or she has actually tried any cases to a verdict. Or better yet, ask whether he or she has tried any medical malpractice cases to a successful verdict.
Ask Whether the Attorney Who Handled The Case Is Still Affiliated with the Firm
You should also make sure the law firm that an internet ad describes is the law firm you think you are retaining. For instance, a law firm might actually advertise the cases “it” has won without informing the reader that the lawyers who tried those cases are no longer affiliated with the firm. Personnel at law firms can change over time, as a result of death, attrition, or business disputes, even if the name of the firm remains the same. The firm may be populated by attorneys who had nothing at all to do with the cases which the firm purports to have won. You should ask whether the lawyer who handled the case that the firm claims to have won is actually still affiliated with the firm.