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How does a Medical Malpractice Lawyer become Reimbursed for Expenses

May 3, 2015 | Medical Malpractice

In your medical malpractice case in New York, why does your attorney have the ability to be reimbursed for his expenses throughout the course of your litigation?

How do You File a Medical Malpractice Case?

When you file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries caused by someone else’s carelessness, the attorney who takes on your case does so, on a contingency fee basis. This means, your attorney is not paid, unless your case is successful. The attorney will also only accept your medical malpractice case, only after he has confirmation from a medical expert that you have a valid basis for a case. Now, when he does that, he is going to invest a significant deal of time, money, and effort prosecuting your case.

Hourly Fees in the Past

In the past, in order for an injured victim to submit a lawsuit for medical malpractice, the victim would have to find an attorney who is willing to fight the case, and he will have to pay such an attorney an hourly fee. At the end of the case if the victim was successful, the attorney would not be receiving any percentage of the awarded compensation since he would be receiving an hourly fee.

All Victims can Now File a Medical Malpractice Case

The problem with this system was that most injured victims did not have the ability to pay a decent attorney an hourly fee to represent them. Therefore, it later developed into a contingency fee, where the attorney agrees to take on a medical malpractice case by investing time and money in prosecuting the case, with the expectation that if the case is successful he will be able to attain reimbursement for all the money he has paid out during the course of the litigation.

It is like an interest-free loan, and the lawyer will receive a percentage of what he is able to recover for the client. This way, the client does not have to pay out of his pocket, unlike an hourly attorney’s fee. This enables victims to have the best attorney possible to fight their medical malpractice cases.

This is the reason, at the finalization of your case, if you are successful, your attorney who has spent a considerable amount of money will get reimbursed for all the money he has laid out during the course of your litigation. In addition, in a medical malpractice case this amount can be very significant. An attorney might spend $25,000, $100,000, or even more just to prosecute your case, depending on the circumstances of your case, how many expert witnesses are required to testify and many other factors.

A Full Understanding

Hence, if you are planning to file a medical malpractice case, hiring an attorney is comparatively easy compared to the past since he will be charging his fees based on a contingency basis. For the attorney, supporting your case financially would be an investment. The hope here is that if your case succeeds, he can recover whatever he has spent on your case, and a percentage of the compensation amount, as his fees. However, if you lose your case, you do not owe your medical malpractice lawyer any money whatsoever. Of course you are not receiving anything either.