There are many factors which should go into the decision to choose your medical malpractice lawyer and whether you will be able to work effectively with him. The choice of your lawyer may very well be the single most important decision you make in the case.
State laws do not limit a lawyer's ability to practice law in any type of specialty. In other words, the law does not prevent a lawyer who does divorces from handling a medical malpractice case on behalf of an injured patient. In fact, most states do not require lawyers to advertise for their services in a particular specialty of law. A lot of states prohibit lawyers from advertising in legal specialties unless they have been recognized by a particularly well-credentialed and known association. Such associations generally must do more than simply certify a lawyer as a specialist by taking a few classes or paying dues to the organization.
Experience in handling medical malpractice claims is the key element in choosing a medical malpractice attorney. However, it is often difficult to determine a lawyer's experience by simply asking him. Research into an attorney's credentials can be accomplished with relative ease if the family knows where to look.
Martindale Hubbell (www.martindale.com) is probably the single most authoritative source for determining a lawyer's credentials. They use a peer review system where they determining ask members of the bar and the judiciary (the judges) about lawyers who have appeared before them. The system is not subject to manipulation by the lawyer and the confidential opinions ensure accuracy. The highest rating an attorney can receive is an AV rating. Make sure that even an attorney with an AV rating is a member of the Bar Registry, which Martindale Hubbell uses to categorize their attorney ratings by specialty. Thus, a Bar Registry Firm in medical malpractice means that the attorney is rated AV and practices in that specialty.
Other resources to consider include: