The Top 5 Mistakes Of Medical Malpractice Lawyers. If Your Lawyer Is Doing This, He Doesn’t Know What He’s Doing.


What are the top five mistakes of medical malpractice lawyers? If your lawyer is doing these things, he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

Mistake Number One: Failing to get ALL of the medical records.

Malpractice cases are won or lost based on the medical records, but some lawyers try to save money by ordering less than the complete records. Big mistake! The missing medical records often reveal information about the patient that can be very damaging and if your lawyer doesn’t have those records, you can bet that the defense lawyer will.

If your lawyer is skimping by ordering an incomplete set of the medical records, he acts at his own peril and jeopardizes your case.

Mistake Number Two: Failing to make sure you have an air-tight case BEFORE filing the lawsuit.

Malpractice lawyers will sometimes fall in love with a case and sue before hiring the right medical experts. Big mistake! The key to winning your case is hiring the right medical experts before filing the lawsuit and in some cases, hiring two or three experts to critique every aspect of your case.

You want an unbiased, objective opinion from your medical experts. If you don’t get the truth from your experts before you sue, the jury will give you the truth at the end of your case in the form of a “no cause” verdict.

Mistake Number Three: Trusting the client (that’s you).

Clients come to the first meeting with the malpractice lawyer with a sad story involving serious injuries and medical neglect. The lawyer can’t fall in love with his client or the client’s story. The nice 50-something school teacher may have spent ten years in the federal prison for robbing a bank.

The lawyer must get background information about the client, including a criminal history search, to find out what is lurking in his client’s background. If the lawyer doesn’t get the information, you can bet that the defense lawyer will.

At trial, damaging background information about the client can be devastating to the case, even if you have the greatest case in the world. The lesson: get a criminal background search from the NYS Office of Court Administration.

Mistake Number Four: Skimping on hiring the right experts.

Many lawyers try to save money by hiring only one expert in a case that really needs three experts in different medical specialties. Or the lawyer may love his slam-dunk case and decide it is not necessary to hire a life care plan expert to project future medical expenses.

Even if you have the greatest case in the world, the value of your case can be cut in half if your lawyer is too cheap to hire the right experts. The defense lawyers and malpractice insurance carriers know this and if you don’t have the right experts for your case, the value of your case will be dramatically reduced.

Mistake Number Five: Forgetting causation.

A medical malpractice requires proof on two subjects: first, that the defendant physician deviated from the standard of care and secondly, that the deviation from the standard of care caused harm to the patient. If your case has clearcut proof of a deviation from the standard of care, it is meaningless unless the deviation caused harm to the patient.

Many lawyers overlook causation (the second prong of proving a malpractice case). Malpractice lawyers often fall in love with cases that have clearcut negligence, such as the misinterpretation of a chest x-ray, but that is only one piece of the puzzle. If the misinterpretation of the chest x-ray, for example, had no effect upon the patient’s ultimate outcome, there is no case.