What Questions Should I Ask Before I Hire an Iowa Medical Malpractice Lawyer?

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Posted by Farl Greene

Hiring a medical malpractice attorney is not an easy decision.  Finding the right attorney for your case can and should involve lots of research.

To make this process a little easier, we have provided some questions that you should consider asking any medical malpractice lawyer before you hire him or her.

1. How long have you been practicing personal injury law in Iowa?

Medical malpractice lawsuits are very different than handling a divorce case or representing someone for a DUI.  Not every Iowa lawyer will know the complex set of rules and regulations that medical malpractice has to follow.   This is why having an experienced attorney who focuses their practice on personal injury law is essential.

Building relationships with medical experts is another strength of an experienced personal injury lawyer.  Every medical malpractice case requires expert witnesses, like doctors and other medical personnel, to examine your medical records.  These experts help the attorney better understand your claim.  They may also have to testify if your case goes to trial.

Having these contacts is essential to any medical malpractice case, but it’s not easy to develop these contacts.  An attorney must build these relationships through their years of work on medical malpractice lawsuits.

2. How long will my Iowa medical malpractice case take to resolve?

As the saying goes, the wheels of justice turn slowly.  Most personal injury cases, including medical malpractice claims, take a long time to resolve.  If your case goes all the way through trial, it could be several years.  If an attorney tells you they can get you a large settlement in weeks or even months, consider that a red flag.  These types of lawsuits involve a lot of research and discussion between the two sides before settlement or trial.

3. When was the last time you went to trial?

Insurance companies don’t want to risk going to court and having to pay a big trial verdict.  That is why they give the best settlement offers to those attorneys who go to trial.

Going to court is not as common as you may think.  The vast majority of Iowa personal injury lawyers do not go to trial on a regular basis, and the insurance companies know that.  That is why you should hire an attorney who is willing to fight for you all the way through a trial.

4. How much will it cost to hire an Iowa medical malpractice lawyer?

Most medical malpractice attorneys work on a contingent fee basis. This means that they are not paid for their services upfront, and will not be paid unless you are paid. Why is an attorney that works on contingency beneficial?

  • It allows victims to hire experienced medical malpractice lawyers without having to put down money up front; and
  • They won’t take any unnecessary risks, because if you don’t get paid, then your attorney won’t get paid either.

Attorney fees for medical malpractice cases can vary, but are usually 40% of the settlement amount.  If you have questions about your attorney’s fees, speak with them about this before signing any paperwork.

These questions are not the only questions you should ask a potential medical malpractice attorney, but they should give you a good idea of that attorney’s expertise.  If you have further questions about Iowa medical malpractice, call RSH Legal at 1-319-774-1542 or download a free copy of the Law Guide to Iowa Medical Malpractice Claims.

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