Medical Malpractice Q&A
What should I do if I’ve been injured?
If you or someone in your family has been injured, you should seek competent professional advice as soon as possible to see if you have a claim for personal injury (medical malpractice). There are many types of personal injuries, and the cause of an injury is not always clear. Lubin & Meyer has extensive experience in finding the cause of medical injuries and accidents. We can assist you in determining whether you have a valid claim, and if so, who is responsible and what compensation may be available for you.
What if an insurance company contacts me?
If you have been injured, do not discuss your injury or the way it happened until you have consulted a lawyer. Your statements might be incomplete or taken out of context so as to be harmful to your claim at a later date. Do not sign any papers or agree to any settlement, as this may affect your right to pursue your claim. Always seek competent legal advice first. At Lubin & Meyer, there is no charge for this consultation.
Will there be a charge to evaluate my claim?
No. At Lubin & Meyer, we will meet with you to discuss your injury free of charge. If we agree that your claim deserves further investigation, we will obtain the necessary records and evaluate them at no cost to you.
How does Lubin & Meyer get paid?
You pay no fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for your injury. Lubin & Meyer handles personal injury claims on a contingent fee basis. This means that the legal fee is a percentage of the amount recovered, and there is no fee due unless and until money is actually collected for you.
What about expenses?
There are certain expenses, such as court costs and expert witness fees, involved in bringing a medical malpractice or personal injury claim. You do not pay these expenses until the conclusion of the case, when money is recovered for your claim.
How much of my time will this take?
Surprisingly, your claim will not require a great deal of your time. After the initial interview, Lubin & Meyer will do most of the work for you. In the typical medical malpractice and personal injury case, you would be required to come to the office two or three times to answer written and oral questions about what has happened to you. Aside from these questions, which are a routine part of the court process, very little of your time will be required.
Will I have to go to court?
You will not have to go to court unless your case cannot be settled and must be tried. The vast majority of claims are settled before trial; however, because of the many factors involved, it is impossible to predict whether your particular case is one that will be settled or one that must be decided by a jury.
Will I hurt the person I’m suing by bringing a medical malpractice or personal injury claim?
Almost all personal injury claims are defended by insurance company lawyers and paid out by insurance, so the person or corporation you sue will not have to pay any money out-of-pocket. A personal injury claim or medical malpractice claim is a civil case, not a criminal case, and the defendant will not go to jail because of the claim.
Is it ever too late to bring a claim?
It is important to consult a lawyer as soon as you are aware that you have been injured, because there are statutes of limitations that prohibit the bringing of old claims, and because it is easier to gather information about a recent injury. However, even if you were injured sometime ago, you may still be able to bring a claim.
Why should I bring a personal injury or medical malpractice claim?
If you are injured through the fault of someone else, you are entitled by law to compensation for your injuries. This compensation is available not only for expenses you have already incurred, but for losses you will suffer in the future. If you or someone in your family is severely injured, this compensation can protect against changes in family situations, so that the injured person’s future is secure. Also, by bringing a claim you may be able to prevent a similar injury from happening to someone else.
Do I still have a claim if my medical bills were paid by insurance?
Yes. You are entitled to compensation for your medical bills regardless of whether or not they have been paid. In addition, you may be entitled to compensation for any other aspects of injury, such as time lost from work, scarring or disfigurement, future medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
What is the value of my claim?
The value of your claim depends on a variety of factors, such as the severity and permanency of your injury, the amount of your medical expenses, the liability of the defendant, and whether the case is to be tried or settled. It is impossible to estimate the value of a claim until the case has been fully investigated from all aspects, and you should be wary of anyone who tries to tell you the value of your claim at an early stage. As each person’s claim is very different, you should not be misled by verdicts or settlements you hear or read about for similar inquiries, because your individual claim may be worth much more or much less.
After we have completed a thorough investigation of your case, we are in a position to offer you our opinion as to the value of the claim. If the insurance company offers to settle your claim, we will discuss the proposed settlement with you, and give you our advice about whether or not to accept the amount offered. Of course, the ultimate decision as to whether or not to accept the insurance company’s offer of settlement or to allow a jury to determine the value of your injuries is always up to you.
If I have a claim how long will it take?
The initial evaluation of a medical malpractice claim or other personal injury claim may take from four to six months. After a lawsuit is filed, the length of time depends on how crowded the court calendar is, and whether the insurance company is willing to settle the claim before the trial. Most cases take between two and four years to complete. During this time medical records and other documents are requested and thoroughly reviewed by our staff as well as by experts in the field.