At Scott Law P.A., Wichita Kansas medical malpractice and injury lawyer Gerard Scott provides personal, professional, and passionate attorney representation to his injured clients. Gerard Scott has been practicing injury law in Wichita for over 25 years. He has litigated hundreds of cases, both big and small. He has settled cases and he has battled others through pretrial, trial, and appeal. He has the skill, resources, determination, and most of all he is willing to put forth the time necessary to do your case right.
"I'm not out trolling the internet for the big easy settlements. If it was just about the money I could never muster up the energy to do this type of work. A medical malpractice case can be a real war. To persever in these battles it takes an amount of dogged determination and an even greater amount of passion. They make things very hard to prove, but at the same time they thereby impower me to prove it. If you don't have some fight in you, this job is definitely not for you."
Don't let attorney advertising mislead you into thoughts of getting a huge multi-million dollar award. Lawsuits are not get rich quick schemes. Car accidents, medical malpractice, and work accidents, can result in catastrophic injury and death, but in very few cases will a multi-million dollar recovery be possible. Those who are awarded millions are typically deserving of much more.
Lawyers are sometimes too quick to forget that the amount of money awarded in their medical malpractice case was for the profound injury to their client, and it was not meant to be a trophy to that individual lawyer's supposed greatness. Some medical malpractice cases have been won despite the lawyer's efforts. Juries can end up doing the right thing in cases even where the lawyer has failed to.
I've had multi-million dollar medical malpractice settlements. But the amount of the money in those types of cases is never worth bragging about. The multi-million dollar cases involve profound injury or catastrophic economic damages. The life care expenses of those injured profoundly is often several times what the case ends up settling for. A famous lawyer once said, "the way you get a million dollar verdict is by trying a $4 million dollar case."
I've successfully handled many medical malpractice cases that other lawyers thought could not be won, or were not worthy of their time. Cases which were very vigorously defended, and did not offer me the lure of personal fame or fortune. Sometimes the "smallest" cases are the hardest of all. Hire a lawyer who understands that not every deserving client is injured badly enough to be entitled to millions. And, not every deserving client's case is as easy as a rear end car accident. Hire a lawyer with brains, heart, and courage.
THE DOS AND DON'TS OF YOUR INITIAL CONSULATION WITH A MED MAL ATTORNEY
Don’t feel compelled to explain why some other law firm has already turned down your case. Despite what you may have been told the odds are they turned the case down because they didn’t think it was big enough or they did not think the odds of winning were great enough. Statements like “they told me I have a great case” are likely to call into question either the credibility of the other law firm, or your own.
Do provide any information you got from talking to any other attorneys. While unsupported conclusions are rarely helpful, well substantiated conclusions and underappreciated facts are.
Don't try spinning the facts of your case in your favor in an attempt to sell it to the attorney. The lawyer easily persuaded by your sales pitch, is likely not worth persuading. Medical malpractice cases are won on evidence, not argument.
Do try to tell it like it is. It’s safe to assume that you are human being and as such you are nevertheless likely to slant some recollections your way. If you’re going to do any conscious slanting you’d be better off presenting things in a light less favorable to your case. Your case is going to have to survive close scrutiny. If there are weaknesses you need to get them out on the table for the lawyer to see and possible do something about.
Don't hold back information out of fear that you will be misjudged. What you hold back may have been irrelevant until you failed to disclose it. The candor with which you convey information is often more critical to your case, then is the content. Do give straight answers without regard to what you think may help or hurt your case.
Don't go looking for a lawyer who will agree with the things you say. A good lawyer will take a critical look at your case and may challenge much of what you say. Don't feel put off by the lawyer who you think is interrogating you. Now is the time for the lawyer to be questioning your case, and not cheerleading it.
Don’t feel compelled to spin any of what your other doctors have said. Just because other doctors have been unwilling to say anything was done wrong, doesn't mean that no wrong was done. Most doctors are just not going to be willing to become involved. To win a medical malpractice case in most communities the lawyer is going to have to locate an out-of-town doctor who is willing to review the case and testify as an expert. Good medical malpractice lawyers will be interested in what your subsequent treating physicians had to say, but they will not be expecting any of them to have said medical malpractice was committed. Good lawyers will be looking for clues as much as conclusions. Do carefully reflect on what you recall being told and try hard to give it to the lawyer the exact way you received it. Your impressions may be important, but you need to couch them in those terms and not as if you are quoting someone.
SEARCHING FOR A GOOD MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEY?
(read below for some truths you may not hear elsewhere)
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ATTORNEY FOR YOUR MEDICAL MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE: Best that you choose wisely. Your case might depend on it.
RULE 1: CAREFULLY EVALUATE WHAT YOU READ AND HEAR. (Keep your thinking cap on at all times)
The www-web is great for obtaining information, but with all the advertising by lawyers and law firms on TV, phone books, and now on the internet, if you're not a wise consumer you can end up being misled, or caught up in someone's web. When evaluating "information" remember that the practice of law is a business. In their eagerness to lay claim to the next big case, some lawyers are willing to claim a bit too much. Let's just say there is some "puffing" going on. More so than most other personal injury cases, medical malpractice cases generally require an amount of skill, time, and resources that most lawyers do not have. But many more lawyers are willing to take on what they hope to be the next big easy settlement. Unless you have a obvious case, you're not likely to get reliable advice from one of these lawyers.
RULE 2: FOR A MEDICAL MAPRACTICE CASE, HIRE A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWYER. (Steer clear of the trolling boats and free travel guides)
Not all the lawyers wanting to handle your medical malpractice case really handle medical malpractice cases. Some have never tried a medical malpractice case, let alone won one. Others may have looked at one or two cases, or maybe even sent a demand letter and settled a clear case.
Some law firms are like big trolling boats casting big fishing nets for injury cases hoping to land a big malpractice case or two. If your case is too small for their taste, or takes too much time or talent for them to figure it out, you'll either get tossed back into the water, or worse yet, left to founder on the beach. You may never know what went wrong.
Some attorneys are just case brokers. They want to guide you for free to a real medical malpractice lawyer and get a "referral fee," a cut of the contingency fee (in most instances at least 25%). The real malpractice lawyer has to risk all the expense money (in most cases $20,000-$100,000) and has to do all the work. Brokering lawyers have gotten six, even seven, figure referral fees for doing nothing more than landing the client. Brokering lawsuits can be great work if you can get it, huh?
The brokering lawyer claiming to be providing you a valuable service by finding you a good medical malpractice attorney, may actually be closing the door on an opportunity to do so by making your case less attractive to the firm they are brokering it to. And, some brokering lawyers appear to have informal exclusivity arrangements with the law firms they are brokering to. Or is it for? When they land a case they always take it to the same law firm. Some of these lawyers practice very little law of any kind. One can only wonder where they get all the money to pay for the huge advertising bills.
RULE 3: FIND A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWYER READY, WILLING, AND ABLE TO WORK ON YOUR CASE. (Not a fat cat or a fat head)
Be wary of the self proclaimed fat cat medical malpractice lawyers who now spend most of their time promoting themselves and/or supervising their underlings. Courtrooms are not training grounds or showrooms. Your case needs one dedicated, devoted, credible lawyer, and not a former race car driver now flashy car salesman running a car dealership.
The truly good medical malpractice attorneys know that they have developed a unique special talent that there is no substituting for. This is not something that can just be conferred upon an associate or paralegal. There is simply no substituting for their own talent, hard work, dedication, and passion for a case. Your case must be put in a position so it can be tried someday and the best way for your lawyer to prepare for that is to be working on your case all along the way.
Hire a medical malpractice lawyer who is going to work on your case. They must learn the medicine and carefully examine the medical chart themselves. The lawyer needs to be in a position to assist the expert physicians in their own review of the records, and not simply rely upon them. Examining your chart means reading every line and reading between every line, flyspecking and scrutinizing every word, letter, and marking, and not relying upon a summary of the records prepared by a nurse or paralegal. The really good lawyers do this over and over and over. What was not apparent the first 50 times, may be apparent on number 51. What was not apparent the first 100 times, may become an epiphany on number 101. The really good malpractice lawyers figure things out that everyone else missed, including all the doctors and nurses reviewing the file for the opposing lawyers.
A CAVEAT ABOUT EXPERIENCE: (or as Gerry Spence might say, well polished boots ain't what keeps you in the saddle)
I have 25+ years of experience. I have by settlement or verdict concluded so many medical malpractice cases that I would have some difficulty recollecting them all. However, I was once a young inexperienced lawyer, and I am not now so arrogant as to under estimate the power of hard work and passion. The great Gerry Spence would say that the opposition lawyer he fears the most at trial is the new lawyer all full of nerves, shaking, stumbling, stuttering, and making all the wrong objections, but doing it all with honest conviction, sincerity and passion. You may be better off hiring an inexperienced lawyer who is going to work hard on your case, than an experienced one who's hardly going to work on it at all.
With malpractice cases the discovery of a single key fact can turn your case into a winner.
The information on this attorney website is general information and should not be taken for legal advice on an individual case or situation. For every general rule there are several exceptions. To obtain good legal advice you should consult with an attorney. We offer free legal consultations on most all medical malpractice, negligence, personal injury, car accident, truck accident, wrongful death, motorcycle accidents, workers compensation, and other accidental injury matters
We serve Wichita, and most all of Kansas, including the Greater Wichita Area of Andover, Hutchinson, Park City, Augusta, Goddard, Newton, El Dorado, Haysville, Winfield, Wellington, Vally Center, Arkansas City, Mulvane, Derby, and the cities of Topeka, Kansas City, Lawrence, Emporia, Salina, Hayes, Chanute, Iola, Dodge City, Garden City, and the counties of Reno, Bulter, Harvey, Sedgwick, Sumner, Kingman, Rice, McPherson, Pratt, Lyon, Barton, Saline, and southeast Kansas, and western Kansas.