Medical lawyers earn one of the highest average salaries in the legal field. The work of a medical lawyer will vary depending on the entity for which you work. Many lawyers in this field specialize in representing hospitals and medical corporations. Others handle medical malpractice or personal injury claims.
At first glance, it seems easy to determine that a doctor is paid much more than a lawyer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides the average salaries for both doctors and lawyers, so it is clear that the number of doctors is higher. But average wages are the midpoint of a salary list for an occupation, meaning that half of the list earns more and the other half earns less. Therefore, a doctor who is just starting out would be at the lower end of the list of doctors, while an experienced lawyer with a good reputation would be at the upper end of the list of lawyers, possibly with a higher salary than doctors.
Other factors, including specialties, also make a difference, as some types of doctors earn hundreds of thousands of dollars more than others, and the same goes for different types of lawyers. But one thing is certain; when you have to go to one or the other, both take away a lot of your salary. Review the job postings and experience requirements for the Medical Malpractice Lawyer job to confirm that it is the job you are looking for. This system pits the financial interests of medical malpractice lawyers against those of their clients, which can be detrimental to the trust required for the lawyer-client relationship to function properly.
A recent law school graduate can expect a job as an employee of a judge or research for more veteran lawyers instead of serving as the lead attorney in a case. New York State is among the states with the highest incidence of medical malpractice litigation in the United States. In New York State, the contingency fees charged by medical malpractice lawyers are established by law and are closely scrutinized by the New York court system to ensure that attorneys meet fee limits in medical malpractice cases. Although this may seem like a benefit to medical malpractice plaintiffs, “sliding scale” contingency fee restrictions actually have a negative impact on the relationship between medical malpractice lawyers and their clients.
Specifically, Section 474-a of the New York Civil Practice Act and Rules prescribes a “sliding scale of percentages that medical malpractice lawyers may charge as a contingency fee when representing a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case.