Unlike some areas of law, it can be difficult for a medical malpractice lawyer to give an opinion to a client on the strength of their legal claim after just an initial meeting. It is important that victims of medical malpractice understand the process involved in evaluating their claims, so that they do not become frustrated and give up.
If you have suffered an injury or ongoing pain or illness due to the negligence of a medical practitioner, you may have a legal claim against that person for your damages. The strength of your claim will depend on your ability to prove your case in court. This does not mean that all medical malpractice cases need to be proven in court. They don’t. Most legal claims are settled outside of court, but the amount for which your claim might settle will depend on the evidence that you have in support of your claim.
Some areas of law, such as family law, depend greatly on the testimony of the people involved. You might go in to see a family lawyer about your pending divorce and walk out of the office an hour later with a good idea of where you stand. Medical malpractice law, on the other hand, depends greatly on expert medical evidence. In a courtroom, only someone designated as an expert in their field is allowed to give evidence of their opinion. The rest of us have to restrict our testimony to the facts: what we saw, heard, felt, said or did.
Therefore, when you go see your medical malpractice lawyer, they will not be able to give you a definitive opinion on the strength of your case without consulting at least one medical expert first. Medical experts may be required to prove more than one aspect of your case. You may need one expert to prove the cause and effect of your injury and another expert to prove that your doctor or medical practitioner failed to meet the expected standard of care.
Keep in mind that a medical expert will be reluctant to give an opinion on your situation without first reviewing all the available information. They will likely need to examine your medical records and examine you personally. They may need to do some additional research. They will then provide you and your lawyer with a written expert opinion. It is important to be patient during this process as it might take several weeks or months to obtain the necessary medical records, and then obtain the written medical opinion.
Once your lawyer has obtained the necessary expert medical opinions, he or she will be able to give you a better idea of the strength of your legal claim.