Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Legal > Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Cost


How Much Does a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Cost?

 
 average costMedium: A Personal Injury Lawyer May Charge 20-40% of the Settlement 
post E-mail post Post  

A medical malpractice[1] lawsuit can be filed against doctors but also against any type of health care professional, including a hospital. Generally medical malpractice cases are complex and highly technical.

Typical costs:

  • Medical malpractice lawyers usually take cases on a contingency basis, charging 20-40 percent of any final settlement or court judgment; you only pay these legal fees if you win. The percentage is negotiated in advance, based on prevailing rates in your area, the expected length and complexity of the case, the amount of money expected to be awarded and, in some cases, the lawyer's experience and reputation. Some attorneys have a schedule of fees, such as 25 percent if the case settles before going to trial, 33 percent if it goes to trial and 40 percent of the final settlement/judgment if the case is appealed. Some states have sliding-scale maximums based on the amount of the settlement/judgment, such as 33.3 percent for the first $300,000, 25 percent for the next $300,000, and increasingly lower percentages as the total amount increases.
  • Ongoing expenses to prepare and mount a medical malpractice case average around $20,000-$50,000, but in complicated situations it can be $50,000-$100,000 and up for costs such as expert medical testimony, obtaining extensive records or using technology to demonstrate the negligence and injury. Usually the attorney will pay these out-of-pocket costs and be reimbursed out of the settlement/judgment.
Related articles: Product Liability Attorney, Asbestos Attorney

What should be included:
  • Medical malpractice cases are expensive and difficult, and attorneys are selective about their clients. An attorney may accept your case tentatively, with a permanent commitment based on the results of a thorough investigation and review of the medical records. A medical malpractice suit must prove that there was a doctor-patient relationship; the doctor did something no reasonable doctor would have done under similar circumstances; the patient was injured (or killed); and the doctor's errors caused the injury. FindLaw.com discusses proving fault[2] in medical malpractice cases and who can be sued[3] .
  • Suing for medical malpractice can be a long, difficult process, and you may find yourself answering very personal questions for the record, and spending a lot of time working with your attorney. Some cases can be quickly settled, but on average they take 2-3 years until a jury reaches an initial verdict -- and most health care providers will appeal any decision against them, which adds another year or more to the litigation process. ExpertLaw.com provides a brief overview[4] of medical malpractice.
  • Each state has a statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. FindLaw.com summarizes medical malpractice laws[5] by state.
Additional costs:
  • There can be an initial charge of $500-$3,000 or more (depending on location and complexity) for a lawyer to consult with a medical expert to determine if you have a valid malpractice claim. Also, be sure you clearly understand whether you will have to pay any of the out-of-pocket expenses if you lose the case and don't receive a settlement/judgment.
  • It's important to know if the lawyer's percentage will be calculated before or after the medical bills are paid and other expenses reimbursed.
Shopping for a medical malpractice lawsuit:
  • Ask about the lawyer's experience with medical malpractice cases, especially your specific circumstances. Ask how each attorney stays abreast of current medical issues, if they have the financial resources, if necessary, to take the case trial, and how many medical malpractice cases they've taken to trial. FindLaw.com lists documents to show your attorney[6] and Lawyers.com explains how to select[7] a personal injury lawyer.
  • If you already work with an attorney in another field of law, ask for a recommendation for a good medical malpractice lawyer. Referrals are also available at Lawyers.com[8] and FindLaw.com[9] .
  • Your attorney should provide you with a written agreement outlining all costs. Be sure you understand exactly how and when the legal fees will be deducted from any settlement/judgment you receive, what other costs might be paid out of your settlement/judgment, and if you are responsible for any expenses if you lose the case.
post E-mail post Post  
CostHelper News


3 Ways to Have the Government Pay You Back for Your Energy Efficient Upgrades
Any renovations or upgrades made to your home this year that included energy-efficient appliances could be eligible for some federal energy tax credits. But it's not just appliances. || Posted December 9 2013


7 Lesser-Known Discounts for the 50+ Crowd
As they age, members of the Baby Boomer generation don't like to admit that they're senior citizens, but they love getting discounts. It's kind of a quandary, because some of the best deals available are reduced prices for older folks. || Posted October 21 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments


 

Comment On Your Experience With a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  * total
Firm: Percent of Settlement: 
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_issues_for_consumers/malpract...
  2.  injury.findlaw.com/medical-malpractice/proving-fault-in-medical-malpractice-cases.html
  3.  injury.findlaw.com/medical-malpractice/proving-fault-in-medical-malpractice-cases.html
  4.  www.expertlaw.com/library/malpractice/malpractice.html
  5.  injury.findlaw.com/medical-malpractice/state-law-summaries-medical-malpractice-and-refo...
  6.  injury.findlaw.com/medical-malpractice/documents-for-your-attorney-illness-hospitalizat...
  7.  personal-injury.lawyers.com/Personal-Injury-Basics/Personal-Injury-Selecting-a-Good-Law...
  8.  www.lawyers.com/medical-malpractice/find-law-firms-by-location/
  9.  lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practice/Medical-Malpractice
More Personal Finance Topics
Check Out All Costs for Personal Finance How Much Does a Traffic Ticket Attorney Cost? How Much Do Funeral Flowers Cost? How Much Do Tax Returns Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com



Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
Cost of Comprehensive Treatment for 14 yr old
Paid: 6095.00
Consult & Records $225. Treatment, $5870, Ins. pays $1000, $974 down, $163 X 24 mos. Braces for 2 years, price includes two year while wearing braces and two additional years of follow up/maintenance... [more]
-TexasT
Braces Cost
declawing
Paid: 0.00
I had to have my Calico kittie declawed at 7 yrs old due to she was scratching everything but the scratching posts I had. She did fine..this was in 1994..so she was cut..no laser..she lived to be 18 years old with no behavior problems... [more]
-M.H.
Cat Declawing Cost
Price of 40 gal ELECTRIC hot water heater purchased at Lowes
Paid: 238.00
promised 2.5- 3 hrs. But, billed me at 3.5 x 85.00, plus cost of unit; so, $238 new Lowes Whirlpool, and $322 for labor/install= 560 total in Wilm NC to one bedroom condo, second floor... [more]
-daniel, rental condos
Replacing a Water Heater Cost
1st Tattoo
Paid: 0.00
I want a tattoo of 5 small birds and then "Forever in my Heart" under my left collarbone... [more]
-Cheyenne
Tattoo Cost
Molar Filling + Pulp Cap
Paid: 205.00
Cavity was almost to the root and would have required a root canal if I waited any longer. Paid $205 to a discount dentist (I qualified for 40% off since I am an adult on Medicaid)... [more]
-Beth in Reno
Cavity Filling Cost
Hernia Repair
Paid: 600.00
Repaired my umbilical hernia with 3 stitches. Tear was not large enough for a mesh. Total cost before insurance was about $6000. My out of pocket was around $600 since I hadn't met my deductible. Two days off work... [more]
-James_H
Hernia Repair Cost