The top three mistakes of hiring a malpractice lawyer in New York

Most malpractice victims spend more time researching a new washing machine than their malpractice lawyer.  It's not too hard to understand.  Most injury victims have purchased several washing machines in their lifetime, but few have ever hired a malpractice lawyer.  Simply put, they don't know what to do.

What are the top 3 mistakes of hiring a malpractice lawyer in New York?

Mistake Number One:  Failing to do your homework.

Most malpractice victims pick up the phone and call the first lawyer they spot either on TV or the yellow pages.  The TV lawyers have gimmicy ads promoting themselves as the "heavy hitters" or some other catchy phrase.  Unfortunately, the TV lawyers usually have no experience in a courtroom and they usually settle their cases for a fraction of their true value or refer the case to trial lawyers.

Instead of the usual knee-jerk reaction of running to the phone when you see a lawyer commercial on TV, you should bury your phone until you do your homework about the lawyer.  DO NOT HIRE A LAWYER WITHOUT DOING YOUR HOMEWORK.

You want to research whether the lawyer specializes in medical malpractice or dabbles in it.  Some lawyers handle an occasional malpractice case, but that is not the lawyer for you. The right lawyer for you should not only specialize in medical malpractice, but have experience handling the type of case that you have.  If you have a case involving a delay in the diagnosis of breast cancer, you should ask the lawyer if he has handled the specific type of case that you have.

Get the facts about the lawyer. Find out from others who have used the lawyer whether he takes cases to trial, or settles all of his cases.  It makes a difference to have a trial lawyer--a lawyer willing to spend  his money and time to take your case to trial instead of settling for the first offer.

Mistake Number Two:  Failing to interview more than one lawyer.

The hiring of a malpractice lawyer may be the most important decision you ever make, but most injury victims hire the first lawyer they meet.  When you buy a new car, do you give the car a test drive and try more than one car?  Usually--and if so, you should do the same when hiring a lawyer.

When you interview a malpractice lawyer, tell him that you are interviewing others.  If the lawyer gets upset, he/she is not the lawyer for you.  The malpractice lawyer should be impressed by your diligence in selecting the right lawyer.

By interviewing multiple lawyers, you will get a comfort level with some more than others and you will see that the credentials of some lawyers are much better than others.  You will likely spend two to three years with your lawyer, so it is important to find someone you can trust and feel comfortable speaking with. The interviewing process is an important part of finding the right malpractice lawyer for you.

Mistake Number Three:  Trusting the lawyer.

For some strange reason, clients often trust their lawyer at the very beginning of their case.  Big mistake!  Trust is something that develops over a period of time and cannot be purchased or manufactured.

If your lawyer tells you that he/she is going to do something, it's your job to hold the lawyer accountable.  Find out if the lawyer lives up to his word.  Honesty is the most important trait in a lawyer--make sure you find a lawyer you can trust

Ask other clients of the lawyer whether the lawyer does what he says he's going to do.  Find out from others in the lawyer's community about his reputation.  The reputation of lawyers varies greatly and you may be surprised what a little digging for the inside scoop on your lawyer may reveal.

If you want more information, I welcome your phone call

I always welcome your phone call if you want to speak on my toll-free cell at 866-889-6882, or you can request a FREE copy of my book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, on the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.  Thank you for taking the time to read this article and please feel free to share it with others you think might be interested.