Probably the most successful medical malpractice cases are those in which the client and the attorney understand the respective needs and rights owed to each other. Mutual respect, cooperation, and communication are keys to successful plaintiff’s cases founded in medical malpractice.
Experienced medical malpractice attorneys will always inform you of your rights and responsibilities upon commencement of the attorney-client relationship.
In fact, all attorneys in New York State must inform clients of their rights. Such a statement of rights must be conspicuously posted in the attorney’s offices. As stated above, your first right is to be treated with courtesy at all times, not only by the attorney, but also by all law firm employees. This is important because every successful relationship hinges upon mutual respect.
Once you chose an attorney, you are not required to keep him/her. Remember, you must receive competent representation and if you aren’t satisfied, you may discharge the attorney. You are also entitled to representation without conflicting interests with other parties; meaning that your attorney owes you a duty in regard to your case, and not to any other party.
All fees must be reasonable and you must be adequately informed, in writing, as to the fees charged to you. The decision on whether or not to settle the case, as opposed to going to trial, is your decision to make.
Naturally, you must never be refused representation based on race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or disability.
There are more rights not listed herein to which you are entitled. We must, however, take time to explain the responsibilities that clients owe to the attorney.
Again, courtesy and consideration guide interaction between the client and attorney. Moreover, clients should be completely candid with the attorney and reveal all facts to the attorney as requested, even if embarrassing.
Fees must be honored as agreed upon by the parties when the relationship was formalized. Even if the attorney is discharged, the client may have to pay for services rendered up until that point.
Patience is a virtue; you deserve proper care and attention, but understand that attorneys commonly have more than one client to whom he/she answers. Communication is a two way street as well. Just as your attorney shall notify you of pertinent case developments, so shall you notify the attorney.
Lastly, no relationship may be legally/ethically forced upon any party. Attorneys are under no obligation to accept your case. If the attorney lacks the time necessary to devote to your case, he/she may elect to decline assisting you. And of course, the attorney can decline any case deemed to be without merit or in which he/she believes a conflict of interest exists.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.