With so many choices, how can I choose the best lawyer for a medical malpractice case in D.C.?

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We hear that a lot.  How do you know which lawyer is best for your medical malpractice case in D.C., Maryland and Virginia?

For a serious case involving wrongful death, paralysis, cerebral palsy, cancer misdiagnosis, etc. the main qualification you want in a medical malpractice lawyer is experience.  Not how old he or she is, or how big their office is or how fancy the paintings on the wall are.  What kind of experience?

Here are a few questions to ask a medical malpractice attorney (and there are many more):
How many times has the lawyer prepared a medical malpractice case - investigated the case, hired the right experts to evaluate the case and testify at trial?  Then prepared the experts for their depositions (a critical step) and taken the depositions of the defendant's expert witnesses?

How many times has the lawyer sued this hospital, HMO, insurance company before?  How did it go?   

Has the lawyer tried medical malpractice cases to verdict?  Has he appealed or had cases appealed after trial?

Has the lawyer settled medical malpractice cases with this hospital, HMO or insurance company?

Is the lawyer board certified?  Did he or she go through a process including an all day test, recommendations from judges and other lawyers to do so?

Do you trust that the lawyer can help you and your family, that he or she will listen and guide you through a difficult time?    

The bottom line is that for any serious medical malpractice case, you need someone with very specific experience, qualifications and resources.  So ask as many questions as you can to get the right lawyer for you and your family.