How to Hire a Nursing Home Attorney
If you believe a loved one has been abused in a nursing home, you may be considering contacting a nursing home attorney to find out what your rights are. But if you've never hired an attorney before, you might not know where to begin. This article is designed to demystify the search process.
Gather Names of Nursing Home Attorneys
Because nursing home lawsuits are less common than litigation stemming from car accidents or dog bites, you may not have a friend or colleague who has hired a lawyer to look into allegations of abuse, fraud, or injury at a nursing home. It doesn't hurt to ask, and a recommendation from someone who has previously worked with an attorney is valuable.
You may also personally know some lawyers who practice in other areas of the law. Still, they may be able to refer you to an attorney who has representednursing home clients.
Because you may want to look at several potential candidates to represent you, you may still want more names. Fortunately, this website can put you in touch with nursing home attorneys in your area. Attorneys.com offers a service that connects people with lawyers.
Call us at 1-877-913-7222, or complete the short form on this site to begin the process. We'll ask you a few questions, and then we will put you in touch with at least one nursing home abuse attorney in your area. You may contact the lawyer yourself, or the lawyer will follow up with you within two business days.
Prepare to Meet with a Nursing Home Attorney
Before you hire an attorney, it's important to interview the lawyer to make sure he or she is the right person for you and your case. Many personal injury attorneys-which includes those who file lawsuits alleging nursing home negligence and abuse-are willing to meet prospective clients briefly for free in what is called am initial consultation. This meeting serves several purposes:
- To interview the lawyer about his or her qualifications representing victims of possible nursing home abuse and neglect
- To familiarize the lawyer with the specifics of your case and receive feedback about its strengths and weaknesses
- To help you choose which lawyer to hire
There are some steps you can take before an initial consultation that will help the meeting be more productive for all parties. Because you'll want to provide some specifics about your suspected case of nursing home abuse, you should provide the attorney with whatever documentation you may have, including photographs, medical records and bills, and any information you have on any public agency investigations that may have included your allegations. If your allegations include fraud, bring documentation of financial records as well.
As you interview each lawyer, focus on topics that will help you determine which lawyer is the best one for you and your case. Some of those topics may be:
- The attorney's background and professional experience, especially with nursing home cases
- The attorney's impression of your case and proposed strategy
- The attorney's estimate of how much money your case is worth
- How the attorney charges for his or her time, and an estimate of the total cost of handling your nursing home case, including fees and expenses
Make a written list of the questions you'd like to ask, so you don't forget them during your meeting Likewise, you'll want to take notes during the meeting, so that you can remember the details later when it is time to select a lawyer to represent you.
During & After Each Meeting
Attorneys are bound by confidentiality rules, so you should feel comfortable sharing the details of the possible nursing home abuse and related injuries. Even if you end up hiring a different lawyer, the other lawyers you interview are required to keep your information confidential.
During and after each meeting, you'll want to consider how the attorney answered your questions and whether those answers earned your trust. Specifically, ask yourself if the lawyers:
- Have the skills and experience to handle the complexity of your nursing home case
- Recommended handling the logistics of the case and preferred mode of communication in a way that meshes with your preferences
- Offered a realistic estimate of your case's value
- Showed good judgment and is someone you can trust
After you've met with each nursing home attorney you're considering for your case, it's time to decide which one to hire. If there are several strong candidates from which to choose, call some former clients for references. Then go with the one with whom you feel most comfortable. You are now ready to start your nursing home litigation.