Many clients have difficulty understanding that a medical malpractice case has two distinct stages. The first stage is investigation. Until the records have been obtained and reviewed by appropriate experts and their advice has been received on breach of standard of care and causation, we do not know whether there is a case – although often times we may be very suspicious.
The second stage is the litigation stage. If we are satisfied that the case has merit and financial arrangements are agreed as to fees and any assistance that a client is willing to give with disbursements (case expenses), then we issue a statement of claim and litigate the case.
The amount required to give an adequate investigation varies, but is usually several thousand dollars. The client may be responsible to fund the cost of the investigation, because we really do not know if there is a case. Occasionally, in a deserving case which may have large damages and appears promising, but the client is not capable of contributing financially to the cost of investigation, we will absorb these costs.