A Medical Malpractice Attorney helps clients with claims regarding injuries they sustain due to mistakes made by doctors, nurses, dentists, therapists, technicians, and other medical professionals and health care providers. Those mistakes can include surgical errors, birth trauma, injuries from inappropriate treatment methods, misdiagnoses, unnecessary delays in treatment, or a failure to get proper consent for treatment from a patient. Medical Malpractice Attorneys are a type of Personal Injury Attorney. Many of them specialize in a specific kind of medical malpractice, like birth injuries, nursing home abuse, or dental malpractice.
Basic knowledge of human anatomy, biology, and standard medical terms is helpful for Medical Malpractice Attorneys, as they will frequently have to collaborate with, and take depositions from, medical professionals and experts. They also have to analyze clients’ medical records to help reconstruct what happened. A Medical Malpractice Attorney also needs to have expertise common to most legal positions, such as written and verbal communication, research, and negotiation.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities
- Advise and counsel clients on matters relating to injuries sustained during medical or dental care
- Consult with medical experts to develop case theories and review medical records
- Write and file claims, motions, and court briefs
- Litigate medical malpractice cases in court if necessary
- Negotiate settlement terms with defendants and their insurance companies
Education and Background
This position requires a Juris Doctorate as well as a license to practice law in the state where the candidate will work.
Board certification from the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA) is preferred.
Skills and Competencies
- Expertise in written and verbal communication
- Knowledge of state and federal medical malpractice laws
- Research skills
- Analytical thinking
- Negotiation skills
- Litigation experience
- Basic knowledge of medical terms
According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Medical Malpractice Attorney with
1 Year of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $55,000
- Tampa, Florida: $56,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $47,000
- Miami, Florida: $66,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $62,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $80,000
- Houston, Texas: $63,000
- Los Angeles, California: $73,000
- New York City, New York: $58,000
- Seattle, Washington: $60,000
- Overall: $59,000
5 Years of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $60,000
- Tampa, Florida: $68,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $62,000
- Miami, Florida: $80,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $81,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $90,000
- Houston, Texas: $78,000
- Los Angeles, California: $88,000
- New York City, New York: $82,000
- Seattle, Washington: $75,000
- Overall: $76,000
Similar Job Titles
- Dental Malpractice Attorney
- Birth Injury Attorney
- Anesthesia Error Attorney
- Medical Attorney
- Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect Attorney
Medical Malpractice Attorneys are required to have a Juris Doctorate from an accredited law school and a license to practice law in the state where they work. College coursework in areas like biology, anatomy, physiology, health care law, personal injuries, and related subjects is helpful and can make candidates more attractive to employers. Obtaining board certification from the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA), which often requires passing a written exam, continuing legal education courses, and getting references from other legal professionals in the field, can make a Medical Malpractice Attorney stand out.
Most attorneys start in law firms as associates, then progress on either a partner or non-partner track, leading to positions as partners, senior attorneys, or of counsel.
Medical malpractice claims are one of the most regulated types of legal claims. Many states cap the amount of money a client can win in a medical malpractice case, and the movement to reform many laws governing torts — especially when it comes to injury claims like medical malpractice — continues throughout the U.S. These state laws can change frequently. A Medical Malpractice Attorney needs to stay on top of those changes.
The personal injury law field — including medical malpractice — is a crowded one. Medical Malpractice Attorneys should be aware of marketing and advertising trends in the field to make themselves or their firms stand out. According to several legal marketing companies, including the web marketing firm Digital Logic, billboards, buses, and television ads are no longer the best ways to market a medical malpractice law firm. Instead, the industry is trending toward more professional, comprehensive websites with lots of information for potential clients searching for a personal injury attorney. This information can include adding virtual web assistants like chatbots on the site to help potential clients and obtain basic information about their needs.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for Attorneys is expected to grow by six percent between 2018 and 2028, which is as fast as average.
The work hours in an office setting for a Medical Malpractice Attorney are usually from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, many attorneys work more than 40 hours a week, especially when nearing deadlines or preparing for court proceedings.
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