If you were the victim of a healthcare provider’s preventable error or negligence, you might be considering a medical malpractice lawsuit against that provider. This is a reasonable and often necessary pursuit due to the added expense and medical treatment needed to correct or manage the physician or facility’s mistake. However, you may be hesitant to meet with a medical malpractice attorney before knowing the cost of a consultation and the financial commitment associated with a medical malpractice lawsuit.
This is a common concern. The following will attempt to answer the most frequently asked questions about meeting with a medical malpractice professional and the costs of a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The Initial Consultation for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Initial consultations in medical malpractice cases are typically free. This is helpful for both you and your potential attorney. The initial consultation is an opportunity to discover if you and the attorney are a good fit for one another and to discuss the viability of your case.
If you choose not to pursue your case with this attorney, or vice versa, you have risked nothing.
The Contingency Fee
Generally, medical malpractice attorneys work on a contingency fee basis and advertise this on their websites. With a contingency fee, the attorney gets paid a percentage of the award in any successful case. In other words, they are only paid if they win your case in trial or secure a settlement on your behalf.
There is no upfront payment or retainer in a contingency fee case, and you are not billed hourly fees while the case is ongoing. This makes contingency fee cases different from all other legal cases.
If your medical malpractice attorney loses your case, they do not get paid. Your attorney gets nothing unless you receive compensation, regardless of how many hours they spent on your case.
Representing a client on a contingency fee basis is risky for an attorney and their client. Taking on all of the work and expenses of a medical malpractice case without any reimbursement guarantee causes attorneys to thoroughly review and choose each potential case wisely. Medical malpractice attorneys try to take only the cases they believe they can prove.
The Contingency Fee Agreement
Before your attorney begins your case, they will present you with a contingency fee agreement. This agreement will set out the terms of representation, including any financial obligations. Before accepting this agreement, be sure you understand all of its contents.
You should know the exact contingency fee percentage and how other fees are handled.
Common Contingency Fee Percentage
Common contingency fee percentages in medical malpractice cases vary throughout the country. Most are between 30-40%. The average is 33%.
There is no rule regarding a set contingency fee percentage in a medical malpractice case. However, any fees must be fair and reasonable. Fees can be on the higher end when a trial is necessary due to the time, expense, and effort to try a medical malpractice case.
Other Fees and Expenses
Any other fees and expenses taken from a settlement or jury award will be listed in the terms of your representation agreement. These fees and expenses would be advanced payments on your behalf, such as:
• Court costs and filing fees;
• Expert witness fees;
• Office and administrative costs.
Read your representation agreement in full and ask your attorney any questions you may have about these expenses before signing your agreement.
Contact An Experienced Phoenix Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you were the victim of a preventable medical error or medical malpractice, contact an experienced attorney at Knapp & Roberts for a thorough case review. There is never a risk in having your case evaluated, and it is imperative to know if you have legal recourse to pay for your medical expenses and losses.
One of the medical malpractice attorneys at Knapp & Roberts will gladly discuss the costs and benefits of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit with you and advise you of your legal rights. Reach out to our office in Phoenix today for more information and to schedule your confidential consultation.
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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.