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Malpractice Wrongful death - Unhappy with attorney ... what to do??

Bowie, MD |

My attorney has had my case since December 2011. I was notified in February 2012 that the investigation and expert opinion has been completed and that a demand letter and evidence was being sent to the nursing home/insurance company. It is now 8 months later and I can't seem to get a straight answer from my attorney why it is taking so long. I receive status calls every six weeks with the same information "we are working on it". I can never get any more detailed information about a settlement or filing suit. Does it usually take this long to respond to a demand letter? Am I jumping to conclusions and should be more patient? This is my first time having to get an attorney for anything and this experience has been aweful!! Will not recommend this atty to anyone. Any suggestions?

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

You need to have a face to face meeting with your attorney, review the file with him/her including all the correspondence and find out exactly what the status is and what is going on. There are a lot of issues that can come up in a wrongful death claim that can take a lot of time. I have also had WD cases that settle in 6 months and some that go to trial and take 2 years. It depends on that particulars of the case and whether liability is accepted or denied and what the insurance looks like, etc. They may be doing everything right and just takes time. That being said, if you are unhappy and have reason to believe nothing has been done you have the right to seek other counsel. No attorney will give you legal advise if you are currently represented so you will need to fire them and move on.

The response herein is for informational purposes only is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. I am a lawyer licensed in the State of Maryland only, and I am not your lawyer (unless you have been in my office and signed a contract). This communication is not intended as legal advice, and no attorney client relationship results. Please consult your own attorney for legal advice.

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Posted

Right now your current Attorney knows the most about your case. That said, you should schedule a face to face meeting with your attorney and express top him the same concerns you voiced here. I know being busy is not a valid excuse, but the reality is that we have many cases and sometimes things take longer than expected, especially if there are a lot of medical records involved. Also, keep in mind that doctors are bust too and it always takes more time than you think to get any reports from them.

Lastly, should you meeting with the attorney not go well, remember that if you switch attorneys, the first attorney can claim his costs and a fee for the time and work he put into the file.

Good luck.

DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.

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Posted

I would agree with my colleagues that you need to set up a face to face meeting with your attorney and express some of these grievances. I do these types of cases and it can take weeks and sometimes months to obtain medical records. Your attorney may also be waiting on a response from the other side as well.

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Posted

A face to face meeting is always encouraged, and your attorney should welcome the request. It is your case, and you deserve to understand where the case stands and the process you are going through. With that said, every case has a life of it's own and doesn't always move at a speed the client thinks is appropriate. There may be strategic reasons the case is taking longer that you expected. If after meeting with your attorney you are not satisfied you can always explore seeking another attorney.

DISCLAIMER: Gene Burkett is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship

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Posted

I am not in your jurisdiction. I agree with my fine fellow attorney(s) responses. I will add some things though. If you are not happy with your attorney make sure you also let him/her know in writing. That way if there is ever a conflict you have something documented. Also, ask for a copy of the file. You will see what letters were sent out, when, etc. In Arizona, medical malpractice cases take time as well. The last one I handled, the insurance carrier (MICA) also wanted to stall and delay. Once the lawsuit was filed and timelines were put into place with discovery etc. things moved better. Medical malpractice cases take time, dont get discouraged, it is important, bunker down for the haul and keep your chin up.

I am an Arizona attorney. AVVO does not pay us for our responses. Simply because I responded to your question does not mean I am your attorney. In Arizona a non-lawyer is held to the same standards as an attorney so there are dangers to representing yourself. This is for informational purposes only. If you require legal assistance an in depth discussion of your case is needed as there are many other issues to consider such as defenses, statute of limitations, etc.

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