Can I pay the hourly rate for a lawyer to sit with me at a meeting with a hospital's risk management group?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Miami, FL

Regarding a "medical mistake" committed by its doctors a meeting has been scheduled between myself and the hospital's risk management team. I am reluctant to proceed pro se as I am 1 against 4 and it is easy for them to make outrageous claims even in the event that I am in the right just because of their numbers. I am thinking maybe a lawyer's presence will help to deter them from their inevitable bullying that tries to minimize my injury and their fault keeping me from a proper resolution. If nothing else, the lawyer will know at the end of the meeting whether I can bring forward a formal malpractice case in the event that the hospital admits no fault. Do lawyers do this? Act as representation on a one time basis? How much pre-research is needed if everything comes out in the meeting?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Heather Morcroft

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You can try, but the hospital may cancel the meeting if you show up with an attorney. What I would suggest is that you meet with an attorney prior to the meeting for advice and counsel. Then you can either attend the meeting prepared, with or without the attorney, or you can make a decision to approach the case differently. I doubt that the hospital's risk management team is going to simply admit to fault. That is extremely unlikely.

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  2. Joseph Jonathan Brophy

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your concerns are well founded. You would be foolish to meet with the hospital representatives without being represented by a lawyer. If they say you can't bring a lawyer, don't go at all. If you are the person who posted last week about looking for a lawyer at a cut rate, I am sorry you are resisting the idea of retaining a lawyer on the customary percentage basis. Not many good medical malpractice lawyers will work on an hourly rate, as you are probably finding out. And, for a lawyer to represent you effectively, he or she will need to spend many hours preparing. If you want to pay an hourly rate, you should be prepared to pay for the prep time, too. I personally would not undertake the sort of assignment you are proposing on an hourly basis for less than $5000 up front, and possibly more. I would anticipate needing to use a lot of that $5000 to learn the case. If your lawyer doesn't thoroughly understand your case, you are not going to get effective representation.

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