WHAT IS A MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE SOLICITOR?
A medical negligence solicitor is exactly what it sounds like. It is an attorney who seeks to represent you due to a possible suit that you may have against a physician, hospital, etc. for medical negligence, also known as malpractice.
WHY DO I WANT A MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE SOLICITOR?
Usually when dealing with cases of medical negligence your primary attorney will not be fully equipped to handle the situation. Under the Code of Professional Conduct for attorneys one requirement for an attorney to handle a case is that they be deemed "competent" to take on the matter. Although your primary attorney may have gone to Harvard Law and has a thriving general practice firm it does not necessarily mean that he/she can handle a medical negligence case.
In these situations you want a medical-malpractice-lawyer who specializes solely in the field of medical negligence. A medical negligence solicitor is usually an attorney who focuses solely on medical negligence and, often at times, a specific form of medical negligence. The area of medical negligence requires not only expertise of the law but also an ability to analyze the scientific data. For that reason it is best to get a medical negligence solicitor.
ARE THERE ANY PRECAUTIONS AGAINST IMPROPER SOLICITATION?
In the legal field there are many rules that comprise the ability of an attorney to solicit clients. This is especially so in the area of medical negligence solicitors. Have you ever watched a movie and in a scene there was an attorney sitting in the emergency room of a hospital handing out his card? Have you heard the term "ambulance chaser"? Well these are examples of improper medical negligence solicitors.
The governing bodies and the legal societies of most, if not all, States recognize that attorneys hold a superior position when talking with potential clients about possible representation. It can, and often has happened, where attorneys have taken advantage of vulnerable people and essentially lured them into representation. For this reason there is a specific code of conduct that restricts medical negligence solicitors from overreaching. These rules can be found in the ABA model rules of professional conduct.
WHEN SHOULD I CONTACT A MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE SOLICTIOR?
As mentioned earlier, if you believe you have a claim for medical negligence it is important that you contact an attorney who specialized in that area. However, more often than not they will find you. Medical negligence solicitors are constantly reviewing documents, police reports, etc. to find new clients. There are regulations, as explained above. One specific regulation involving personal injury, wrongful death, medical negligence cases, and some other forms of injury an attorney may not communicate with you for the purposes of "pecuniary gain" within thirty (30) days of the injury. This rule is for your protection and allows you to "get your bearings" after a traumatic event so that you can approach the situation with a logically and with a clear head.
That being said; once you feel that you are physically and emotionally ready to handle the situation it is important that you progress in getting a medical negligence solicitor within a relatively modest period of time. In most States the Statute of Limitations is about 30 months from the date of injury. This begins to accrue on the date of injury.