You believe your doctor caused you harm.
You believe your doctor was careless.
You decide to bring a lawsuit against your doctor whom you once trusted.
You're trying to obtain compensation for all the injuries you suffered because of his carelessness.
How do you know whether you really have a valid case?
In order to know for sure whether you have a valid medical malpractice matter, an attorney must submit all of your records to a qualified medical expert.
The expert must conclude that (1) there was wrongdoing, (2) the wrongdoing caused injury and (3) the injury was significant and/or permanent.
Only if our medical expert confirms that all three of those elements are present, are we permitted to go forward and start a lawsuit on your behalf.
If any one of those elements is missing, by law, we are not permitted to start a lawsuit for you.
The question then becomes, who actually pays to hire the medical expert who will be reviewing your records?
If it turns out you have a valid case, who pays for the medical expert to come to trial?
If we need additional medical experts, and there's a good chance you will, who pays for those experts?
The reality is that the attorney you hire will be the one to pay for a medical expert to review your records.
If your expert is unable to confirm a valid case, your attorney gets nothing for his efforts and does not get reimbursed for his initial expense.
On the other hand, if your medical expert does confirm that you have a valid case, then your attorney will start your lawsuit with the hope and expectation that after 2-3 years you will be successful.
If your case is settled or goes to verdict and you obtain compensation, all of the attorney's expenses that he has paid throughout your litigation must now be repaid to him. Legally, those are known as disbursements.
After his expenses have been repaid, the attorney's fee is then calculated.
If additional medical experts are needed throughout the course of your lawsuit, the attorney will pay for those experts to review your records and if needed, to have them come in and testify at trial.
The fees for retaining medical experts often make up the biggest part of an attorney's expenses on your case.