A: When an injured victim calls a lawyer, a good malpractice lawyer can tell in a few minutes whether there's a potential case. Here's 5 tips to clue you in to what they look for. Most folks are unsure where to begin when calling a lawyer's office. They want to know if they have a case, but don't know what the lawyer needs to hear. Most want to come into the office to talk. Others want advice over the phone. A good medical malpractice lawyer looks for these 5 things: (1) An ability to tell the lawyer what happened. If the victim can't talk or has little memory of the events, then the lawyer needs to speak to a family member who might have more information. It's ok if the victim can't recall what happened. The lawyer can usually put the pieces of the puzzle together with medical records and other witnesses. However, if the injured victim can talk but can't articulate why they think something was done wrong, proving a case becomes much more difficult. Also, if the victim can't describe what injuries they suffered as a result of the wrondoing, it becomes impossible to prove a successful case. (2) An ability to listen. Your malpractice lawyer needs to know specific information. He will ask you a series of questions that establish basic information such as "How old are you," "What do you do for a living," "What do you think the doctor did wrong," "What permanent injuries do you have from the wrongdoing," "Has any doctor criticized the care you received from your other doctors?" There are some potential clients who keep talking and simply don't want to hear what I have to say. For those people, I know at the outset that dealing with them will be difficult. (3) An ability to ask questions. Most people who call a lawyer for help have never been in that situation before. That's why they're calling for help. It's natural for a victim to have questions about the legal system, legal fees, how lawsuits work, and what their chances for winning their case are. The more inquisitive they are, the better informed they'll be. (4) The potential client who continually asks "What's my case worth?" is usually the type of person who will live for their case, as opposed to living their life. What do I mean? There are people who live their lives and try to restore their dignity by going back to work, or improving their lives despite their disability. There are others who want to milk the system, and are content to sit home and watch TV until their lawsuit is finished. From a lawyer's perspective, a person who makes every effort to overcome their disability tends to generate much more sympathy than someone waiting for their ticket to be punched. (5) Is the injured victim shopping around for a lawyer? There are some folks who jump from one lawyer to another looking for a better deal, a better lawyer, a lawyer who tells them only what they want to hear, or a lawyer who doesn't know about their other cases. I can usually tell within minutes whether this is the case. That's ok if it is, I just want to know about it up front. A client's honesty is paramount to keeping a good working relationship. If the client isn't honest about the facts of the case, or they're hiding something from me, we'll usually find out about the inconsistency during our investigation. If we don't, I guarantee the defense will find out about it during the lawsuit and it will definitely hurt your case. Conclusion: Finding a good malpractice lawyer is easier if you've done your research and know what to look for in a good lawyer. Ask your potential lawyer if they have free reports and information on their web site that informs them how lawsuits work before they ever walk into a lawyer's office. When you make that call to a malpractice lawyer, keep in mind these 5 tips, and you'll have a much smoother experience than you might otherwise have had.