Finding a lawyer to handle a medical malpractice case is very difficult for many reasons. The first (and most obvious reason) is that many lawyers are not experienced, skilled or talented enough to handle such a complex case up and through trial. However, there are other reasons beyond the ability to find a capable lawyer.
Every day we meet with ordinary folks about potential medical malpractice cases. This is not surprising as statistics show that medical negligence kills and harms patients and families at an alarming rate. Many times, the same doctors commit the same error time and time again. As a trial lawyer, I wish I could hold every doctor accountable for the mistakes and harm they cause. Unfortunately, that is not possible. The medical malpractice insurance companies, lobbyist and doctors have spent millions of dollars to make ordinary people believe that there is a medical malpractice crisis in this country. Potential jurors see this propaganda every day in the media. Doctor’s offices are plastered with posters threatening to leave the state. These myths portray doctors as the victims of lawsuits. As a result, jurors are less and less likely these days to decide a case against a bad doctor who injures an innocent patient.
As a result, many times I have to meet with families and their loved ones who are victims of medical malpractice and tell them that I can not represent them. These people have cases that are not frivolous, but have true merit. Unfortunately, because it is very difficult to convince a jury to hold a doctor or hospital legally responsible even in clear cut cases, trial lawyers (including myself) are forced to be very selective in the cases they choose to bring.
Remember, a trial lawyer works for free. That is, a trial lawyer does not get paid unless his or her client gets a recovery. Malpractice cases cost on average, between $20,000 to $40,000 in out of pocket expenses. These are resources that the trial lawyer must pay “up front” and without any guarantee of being reimbursed. In addition, a trial lawyer will commit hundreds of hours in time in research, discovery, trial preparation and trial. When out of pocket costs and legal hours are combined, a trial lawyer must be prepared to commit $150,000 to $250,000 per case. More importantly, since there are only so many hours and so many cases a trial lawyer can work, if he commits to one case, he can not commit to others. As a result, the sad fact is that it is getting more difficult for true victims to get justice in the courts.
For further information on medical malpractice lawsuits, click on the links below: