FAQ’s about Utah Medical Malpractice

I think I might have a medical malpractice case – what should I do?

You should start keeping a journal to keep track of the who, what, where, when, why and how of your treatment. The journal will prove invaluable later when the insurance companies try to minimize your injuries. We suggest that you keep your journal electronically. You should also get a copy of your medical records and any x-rays, CT’s or MRI’s as soon as possible. You are entitled to a full copy of your medical records – always!

The doctor’s insurance company or hospital’s risk manager wants me to make a recorded statement – should I?

You should never give a recorded statement without the assistance of a lawyer. You have no obligation to speak with the offending doctor’s insurance company or hospital’s risk manager and if you are working with us simply have them call us. A medical malpractice lawyer will protect your rights to make sure an insurance company will not twist your words and use them against you later.

What should I be paid for when seeking compensation from medical malpractice?

You should be compensated fully and fairly including:

  • past wage loss (wages you lose while getting better),
  • future wage loss (if you are unable to return to your job),
  • past medical costs (money spent treating your injuries),
  • future medical costs (money spent treating your injuries in the future),
  • household services (chores about your home that you would normally do if you were not injured),
  • pain and suffering (after all you did not cause the injury and now you are the one suffering).

Do I really need to hire an attorney – what if I do not have any money?

All good medical malpractice lawyers will take your case on a contingency basis meaning we advance all the costs for the case and wait to be paid only when we get money for you.

How does the money work out in the typical case?

Typically what happens, and only as an example, assume we settle your case for $500,000. Here is what happens:

Settlement: $500,000
Attorney fee (33.3%): $166,500
Costs advanced: $20,000
$186,500 -$186,500
Subrogation (pay medical bills): $100,000 -$100,000
Your proceeds: $213,500

Why are attorney fees so much?

Attorney fees are meant to compensate the attorney for his or her time spent working on the case. It includes attorney time spent dealing with adjusters and defense attorneys while preparing your case for mediation, arbitration or trial if necessary. Costs to hire the best medical experts are often substantial. The fees also pay for paralegal time and overhead required to operate a modern legal practice. We keep our costs at a minimum using digital media and communicating electronically wherever possible.

Who will be working on my case?

At George Tait Law the primary attorney who will be working on your case is George Tait. Occasionally another attorney may work on your case for a short period of time if I am in trial or otherwise too busy but I will always supervise the other attorney to ensure your case is handled competently.

Can I call and see how my case is progressing?

Sometimes your case might not be progressing as fast as you might like. Sometimes we are waiting for medical records and sometimes we are waiting for medical providers or health insurance companies to get back to us before we finalize settlement. We are a relatively small firm and want you to call so you are fully informed about the status of your case – call any time!

What if I am on Medicare or Medicaid?

In order to make sure your Medicare or Medicaid coverage is not placed in jeopardy we work closely with Medicare and Medicaid to make sure they are paid back out of the proceeds of the case and protect your eligibility.