Fee in a contingency malpractice suit.

I retained an attorney for medical malpractice
lawsuit, he’s asking me to pay a 500 fee up
front for medical records, is this a common
occurrence or should I look for another
attorney?

Asked on October 6, 2017 under Malpractice Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Doctors do not need to provide medical records for free--they can charge copying/administrative fees. It is not unreasonable for an attorney to seek payment from his/her client for the cost of obtaining any records. The $500 upfront fee is probably an estimate, with some "padding" or "cushion" built in, of the average or likely cost to acquire the records. It is certainly possible another attorney might charge you less, but again, a charge for these records is not unreasonable. Malpractice cases are expensive: you need records, medical tests, medical expert opinions/tesimony...if you are unable or unwilling to foot upfront costs for the case, you may wish to rethink whether you should bring the case.


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