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How Will You Pay a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?

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Let’s face it… no one ever plans to need a health care lawyer. Most times, these types of expenses are not only incredibly stressful but also a total surprise. So, in the event that something catastrophic happens, how will you afford to pay your health care lawyer?

What are some common types of fee arrangements?

Most health care lawyers work on what’s called a “contingency fee.” Basically, what a contingency fee means is that their payment is contingent on winning the settlement or lawsuit. Their fees are they paid out of the settlement money, usually as a percentage of the total. That percentage usually ends up being about 33%, or 1/3rd, of the total to the health care lawyer. If the trial ends in a loss, the lawyer does not receive any money. One thing to consider is who is required to pay the costs of the litigation itself, which can be quite significant. These costs include any expert witnesses needed, as well as the fees of the actual court time itself. In the majority of cases, these fees are taken care of by the health care lawyer, at least at initial onset of the case. Should the case be successful, the health care lawyer may request to also be reimbursed for a portion or all of those costs out of the settlement. Make sure you confirm before hiring a health care lawyer so that there are no surprises at the end of the trial.

What should I consider?

Make sure that you remember that all health care lawyer’s fees are, to some degree, negotiable. Shop around before committing. Get reviews from any friends or family member’s that may have gone through similar situations. Also remember that most health care lawyers will do free initial consultations so don’t feel bad about going in, sitting down, getting a general feel for him or her and thinking on it before signing anything.

Be aware of legal considerations

Recent legislative efforts have sought to restrict the amount of lawsuits that health care lawyers can bring. The concern is that increased lawsuits may actually increase the cost of healthcare as a whole. Before deciding whether or not to bring a lawsuit, consider the laws and statutes in your state. Ask your potential health care lawyer about them as well – they should be up to date on any laws and changes that may affect you and your case to avoid potential fines or worthless lawsuits. Additionally, some states put caps on the percentage that a health care lawyer can ask for from an potential payout. These limitations are non-negotiable, while legal fees are.

If you need to hire a health care lawyer, there are a few considerations to keep in mind to make sure you are following the letter of the law and aren’t being taken advantage of. Health care lawyers mostly work on contingency, so don’t be afraid to shop around and negotiate fees prior to hiring them.

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