You’ve just started out on your own (“hung your own shingle” as the saying goes), your website is up and running, and you’ve spent more money than you would like to admit on various tools of the trade (printing supplies, answering service, file folders, SEO investments, the list goes on and on). You did some insurance defense before, and you know that in addition to slip and falls, car crashes, and labor law, you want to land the big one: a medical malpractice winner.
But when you get that call, you freeze. Your first instinct cries out, I’ll just refer this out to a more “established” firm.
Unless you truly feel you do not have the resources to handle a med-mal plaintiff’s case, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Rather than fear success, grab it by the horns and As an attorney, you will first want to conduct an initial client interview, of course.
As an attorney, you will first want to conduct an initial client interview, of course. For the plaintiff’s lawyer, your client interview should aim to obtain as much information as possible — about the claim, the accident/injury, and the people involve. You will also want to make sure that your client signs all relevant authorization forms (e.g. HIPAA-compliant forms), which will allow you to promptly obtain medical records.
Your impressions of your client, coupled with review of the medical records, will give the best idea of whether you have a strong case for medical malpractice.
You will also want to talk to a physician in the relevant field of practice in order to best determine whether your client has a meritorious claim. If so, you will need to get what is called a certificate of merit.