Factors to Consider When Choosing an Attorney for Your Medical Malpractice Case


Many attorneys will handle medical malpractice cases, along with a variety of other personal injury or other types of legal matters. In a complex medical malpractice case, the only experience that matters is their experience with other medical malpractice cases. Ask the attorney how many brain injury medical malpractice cases they have taken to trial and won? When was their last jury verdict in such a case? How many complex brain injury medical malpractice cases have they settled? When was their last such settlement? The law in medical malpractice cases is very different than other types of cases involving significant injuries, and attorneys who do not regularly handle medical malpractice cases are at a significant disadvantage in dealing with defense attorneys and the insurance companies for doctors and hospitals.

Dr. Bruce Fagel only handles medical malpractice cases and he has tried and settled more medical malpractice cases than any other attorney in California, on behalf of injured victims of medical malpractice and their families. In the last two years alone, he has settled more than 40 medical malpractice cases involving catastrophic injuries to children and adults, collecting more than $100 million for his clients in 2010 and 2011.

Track Record

Obtaining a maximum possible settlement in any medical malpractice case requires that the defendant doctor or hospital’s insurance carrier fear your attorney. That fear is based on the ability and experience of the attorney in taking such cases to trial, and winning those cases. Many attorneys who handle medical malpractice cases have never tried a case to successful conclusion, and they may be tempted to settle your case for less than full value. Ask any attorney you are considering for your case for the names of defense attorneys and insurance companies that they have beaten in trial or settled significant claims.

Dr. Bruce Fagel has successfully tried cases in more than 25 different counties in California and he is well known and respected by the attorneys who represent doctors and hospitals. At the same time he is respected by those attorneys and their insurance carriers and is regularly asked to speak before meetings of defense attorneys, hospitals, and insurance companies.


All medical malpractice claims require evidence from medical experts to prove both negligence and causation. Many valid medical malpractice cases are lost at trial because the defense attorneys are able to use their medical experts to confuse a jury, or because the plaintiff attorney is not able to explain the case to a jury. Ask any attorney you are considering for your case to explain the medical aspects of your case, and what experts they will use in your case. If the attorney does not understand the medical aspects of your case, they will never be able to explain the case to a jury or deal with the defense experts properly.

Dr. Bruce Fagel is a licensed physician who practiced emergency medicine for 10 years before becoming an attorney and he has spent the last 30 years pursuing complex medical malpractice cases for injured victims and their families. As a physician himself he can both understand and explain the complex medical issues in the case and that has been the key to his many successes at trial. He is also able to effectively utilize medical experts to present the case, and cross examine the defense experts, because he knows the medical language.

Ability To Fund The Case

Medical malpractice cases are among the most expensive types of personal injury claims, primarily because of the cost of medical experts that are required to prove liability and damages. Medical malpractice cases that involve significant brain injuries to children always require experts in the fields of obstetrics, perinatology, neonatology, nursing, neuroradiology, neurology, rehabilitation, life care planning, and economics. Each defendant in the case is entitled to their own multiple experts who must be deposed prior to trial. The cost of such experts in medical malpractice cases can easily exceed $200,000 or more before trial. Many attorneys are unable to advance such sums of money, and some even ask the client to pay for costs as the case progresses. Ask any attorney you are considering how much money they have advanced on prior medical malpractice cases, and how much money they are willing to advance on your case.

Dr. Bruce Fagel advances all of the costs on the cases he handles, and as a physician himself he is able to use his experts in a cost-effective manner because he does not need experts to spend time explaining the medicine or doing research. Most attorneys, without a medical background, are totally dependent on their medical experts and must pay a premium for their opinions.

What Do Prior Clients Think About The Attorney

The best measure of the success and ability of any attorney is the opinion of prior satisfied clients who have had medical malpractice cases similar to your case. Ask any attorney you are considering to give you a list of their prior clients and ask if you can call them to ask their opinions about the attorney. An attorney who is unable or unwilling to provide you with such a list probably does not have the level of experience or track record of success that you need for your case.

Dr. Bruce Fagel maintains contact with his clients going back over 25 years, and can provide you with multiple references for cases involving significant brain injuries to children where settlement funds have made it possible to provide the treatment that such children need and require.

How Quickly Can Your Case Be Resolved

It is important to any plaintiff in a medical malpractice case to have their case resolved, either by settlement or trial, as quickly as possible. Because of court funding cutbacks in California, many courts are not able to push cases to conclusion as quickly as they have in the past. Ask any attorney that you are considering how quickly they will be able to resolve your case, and what specifically they will do to move your case through the system so that your case can be resolved as quickly as possible. In all cases involving severe brain injuries, the injured plaintiff needs the funds for therapy and care without waiting for years.

Dr. Bruce Fagel has a staff of several associate attorneys who assist him in the discovery process and he aggressively pursues cases, with an average time to settlement of 19-20 months from the date the case is filed. Many significant injury cases have been resolved in less than 1 year from filing.