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How To Hire A Malpractice and Personal Injury Attorney

By Steve E. Clark

Finding a suitable Oklahoma City medical malpractice attorney can greatly increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome in a lawsuit. To create a positive working experience and the best possible chances for obtaining a favorable case result, you should consider the following as you look for a lawyer to handle your specific case.

Locate The Experts in Your Case’s Field
A lawyer can advertise for and represent clients in any area of law. Oklahoma does not certify attorneys – including medical malpractice attorneys – by specialty, like doctors. There are a number of national organizations, however, that only admit the most skilled and experienced attorneys. The American Board of Trial Attorneys and the American College of Trial Lawyers have websites listing the best attorneys in the country.

Martindale Hubble® publishes law directories and rates attorneys. Their highest rating is AV, which Clark & Mitchell P.C. has had since its inception. Oklahoma medical malpractice and negligence lawyer, Steve Clark, is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an organization which limits its membership to the top one percent of attorneys and is by invitation only. Steve is also a recognized advocate by the American Board of Trial Advocates. He’s listed in Oklahoma Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America. In order to be added to the latter, a lawyer must have tried at least 50 cases.

Act Quickly After Your Injury
Generally, there is a two-year statute of limitations in Oklahoma for medical malpractice suits.  This means that from the time of death or injury, a case must be filed within two years, though it does not mean the case has to be completed within this time period. However, many hospitals and some physician groups claim to be state, city, or county entities. Under the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act, claims against state, county, or city facilities must be filed within one year in an Oklahoma court of law.

An experienced malpractice attorney needs an adequate amount of time to obtain medical records, consult with experts, and conduct a thorough investigation before a suit can be filed. Also, memories of events can fade or tissue samples can be lost, so it’s important to arrange a consultation with an attorney as soon as possible.

Understand the Realistic Outcome for Your Case
No attorney can guarantee an outcome or make a specific prediction of how much money a case is worth. Unfortunately, we have often witnessed one malpractice attorney “outbidding” another, in hopes that the client will believe their promises. Every case is unique and many factors drive the ultimate value of a settlement or verdict. The value of a case cannot be fully anticipated the day a lawyer is first consulted. You should reject any promise or prediction of a specific outcome if you are approached by a lawyer about your case.
Most cases take, on average, almost two years from the time a lawyer is first retained. Don’t accept promises that a case can be wrapped up quickly or that the defendants will agree to a settlement right away. Often the more patient a plaintiff can be, the greater his or her settlement.
Ensure Your Counsel Has Your Best Interests In Mind
Insurance companies know which lawyers are willing to go to trial and have a track record of success in the courtroom. Clark & Mitchell P.C. brings not only a better chance of victory in the courtroom, but we also get higher out-of-court settlements because insurance companies know we aren’t bluffing.

Of course willingness to go to trial does not necessarily mean victory is likely. When the plaintiff loses, he or she gets nothing. Make sure the lawyer you hire has won cases in the courts of Oklahoma. Each lawyer at Clark & Mitchell P.C. has a long history of obtaining favorable settlements for clients.
Find a Lawyer Who’s Selective About Their Caseload
When you first come to an attorney’s office, you should meet with the lawyer you want to interview, not a paralegal or a junior associate right out of law school. If the firm is going to assign your case to a young lawyer with little experience because they have too many cases and not enough time to give you the personal attention you deserve, you should probably talk to other attorneys. At Clark & Mitchell P.C., there is always a senior-level attorney ready to handle your case.

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