A: Have you ever wondered why there's so many lawyer advertisements? It's because lawyers think that injured victims don't know how to choose an attorney on their own. Guess what? They're right! If you've got a billboard in front of you after you've been injured that says something like "Is your car totalled? Did you break your bones? Call our law firm..." Isn't this a call to action? Sure it is. But is this the best firm for you? Let's see. Your family lawyer is great to have general legal issues taken care of; preparing your will, maybe some business matters, parking tickets, small claims court, or maybe even some personal injury. When you've been injured by a doctor or a hospital, your family lawyer is probably the first one you're going to turn to for advice. But, is he the right person for the job? Maybe, maybe not. Medical negligence, or medical malpractice is a very specialized area of law. Extensive knowledge of medicine, while not required, is often helpful in prosecuting a malpractice case. The defense lawyers who represent the doctors and hospitals are usually a sophisticated group of trial lawyers. You want your attorney to be familiar with the defense attorneys, and you want your attorney to have experience handling, prosecuting and trying malpractice cases. It'll do you no good if the biggest case your family lawyer has had involved a minor injury or a 'soft-tissue' case. Ask your family lawyer if he handles malpractice cases regularly. Having a few personal injury cases, does not make him an expert trial attorney in a malpractice case. Nor should you let your family lawyer put your case into suit to try and 'squeeze' a few dollars out of the malpractice insurance company- for a quick settlement. Why? Because it dosen't work with malpractice claims. They'll quickly realize that your lawyer doesn't have the ability to take your case to trial, and your case will suffer because of it. A law firm that has taken cases to verdict and is not afraid to try a case stands a better chance of getting a good result, than a lawyer just looking for a quick settlement. Just remember- your family lawyer may be a great lawyer- but think long and hard whether you want him (or her) to handle your malpractice case. Ask lots of questions, and choose wisely.