Advice - Medical Malpractice Case ???
Q: I am currently seeking a lawyer in an attempt to determine if I have a case of medical malpractice which led to the death of my mother. I will not go into the particulars of the case because my question is very specific to the process of finding a lawyer. I have telephoned law firms in my city which specialize in medical malpractice. I am greeted on the phone with a receptionist who asks me to me summarize the circumstances of my mother's illness and death. I explain, becoming very upset in the telling, and am asked basic questions (name, address, etc.). I think I sound a little hysterical although I try not to. I am speaking about my mother's death which occurred in Sept. of this year. Sometimes I'm put on hold, sometimes I'm passed to another gatekeeper. A few days later I receive a polite letter saying that the lawyer is not interested in my case. If 2 or 3 lawyers who specialize in medical malpractice tell me I have no case I would respect their opinions but I have yet to speak to a lawyer personally. I would like a consultation with a lawyer not a receptionist. How can I approach this situation differently? I am preparing a summary of the facts and a chronology. Should I politely refuse to discuss the particulars of the case on the phone and say that I will bring the summary and chronology to my initial appointment with the lawyer? Is there anything else I can do in terms of legwork that will increase my chances to speak to a lawyer instead of a receptionist? Should I walk into the office rather than telephone? I'm sorry about all these questions but I have no experience in legal matters. Could it be that I've just had poor luck with the law offices I've called thus far and that I should keep on calling law firms until I find a lawyer who will talk to me?
A: I'm sorry to hear about your loss. It is difficult to recount these painful experiences, but you're doing the right thing to make inquiries now, because sometimes people wait until the grief has subsideded but then it may be too late because of the statute of limitations. I'm speculating that you're calling firms which heavily advertise that they handle medical malpractice cases, and perhaps as a result, they rely on "gatekeepers" to collect the information to screen a large number of inquiries. There are many excellent firms, especially in specialties and serious cases, who do not advertise, because they get all the cases they can handle by referral from personal recommendations and from other lawyers. In my experience, these are the best lawyers and they will be happy to meet personally with someone who has experienced such a serious loss. I don't think there would be a problem if you decline to give any information beyond the date of your mother's death and the names of the medical providers who you suspect. If you post your state and city, very likely someone here can make a recommendation for you. If not, I've written an FAQ on finding a lawyer which I'll insert here:
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