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Basic Steps in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

A close, professional relationship with your attorney is essential. Just as patients must trust a physician they know little about, you must trust your attorney implicitly. Relate to your attorney just as you want patients to relate to you. Be informative, honest, optimistic, and receptive to professional advice. It is important to talk with your attorney about any previous legal experiences and to avoid enthusiastic agreement with Shakespeare’s often-quoted words: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” Making your attorney an adversary will only add to your challenges. Instead, devote your energies to educating and assisting him or her.

Once your attorney has been engaged, let her handle all communications, Contact her about legal documents or other communications you receive. Make no personal contact with the plaintiff or anyone involved with the plaintiff. It is unethical for the plaintiff’s attorney to communicate with you once you are represented by counsel. Notify your attorney immediately if that happens. Direct all requests from plaintiff’s counsel to your attorney. If you are contacted by a plaintiff’s attorney before you become a defendant (and thus do not have legal counsel), notify your insurance carrier immediately.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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