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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    4

    Question Lawyer Not Working Case

    My question involves malpractice by a lawyer in the state of: Arizona

    I hired a lawyer to help with a medical malpractice suit. It took over a year to get the medical records from our doctor. My lawyer took a year to file a petition to get the records. Once we got the records the lawyer had his so called professional doctor review the case. His doctor came back and said that he didn't see anywhere that the SCOC was broken after which my lawyer seem to drop the case. (We also found out that my lawyers doctor actual trained the doctor we where suing, and was surprised that the doctor I am suing didn't hand the records over right away.) Now my lawyer has made a deal with the doctor I am suing that they will give us $2,000 because it took over a year to get the records, but only if we sign to drop the case and never sue. My lawyer doesn't want to listen to anything I have to say and doesn't want to seek a second opinion. He just wants to get rid of me. Then today I received an email from my lawyer of a naked woman skydiving. I was so upset. What can I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
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    28,626

    Default Re: Lawyer Not Working Case

    Take your medical records to another malpractice firm for review.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    4

    Question Re: Lawyer Not Working Case

    Quote Quoting aaron
    View Post
    Take your medical records to another malpractice firm for review.
    What about my lawyer's conduct? If I take the records somewhere else he is still going to want to be paid. Also what about the horrible video he sent me?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
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    2,350

    Default Re: Lawyer Not Working Case

    I would have a hard time thinking any lawyer is going to send a video like that, certainly not on purpose. I would ask for an explanation.

    You have left a lot out and so it is not reasonable to expect anyone here to give you any meaningful advice. No one here can give you legal advice.

    It does not sound like any civil action has actually been filed. It sounds more like an exploratory investigation. If your own attorney's expert witness does not think there is anything to sue for, then chances are there isn't.

    You say nothing about what the malpractice is supposed to be or how you were injured, but it doesn't really matter. Obviously the attorney does not believe there is enough grounds to sue for anything significant.

    It sounds like no civil action has actually been filed. If it had been there would have been discovery in both directions and getting the medical records would not have taken a year. The doctor would be represented by counsel hired by his insurance company. The doc would not be offering 2k directly for you to go away. In any case, that is chump change unless you really don't have a case.

    Lots of people think they have been injured in some way and want to sue, but usually there is no case or it is simply not worth the money it would take.
    There are also all sorts of gotcha's in the law that the layman knows nothing about that an attorney is going to consider before proceeding with a case.

    Also medical malpractice cases are one of the most complicated types of cases to prosecute and/or defend. Unless the case is worth serious money, an attorney is not going to want to proceed. Such a case can easily cost 250k. If the malpractice is not clear cut, it is not worth the trouble. The doctor is going to be represented by the insurance company attorneys who are experts in this area of law. They already have the best expert witnesses lined up, investigators ready to find out every single thing about you, and whatever other resources they need.

    If the client has unrealistic expectations or is going to come off badly in front of the jury, it not worth the trouble and expense.

    If the attorney is in a single lawyer practice or a small office practice, there is no way he can take on a case on a contingency contract that is going to take hundreds of thousands of dollars, many hundreds of hours of time, and wait a couple of years for a payoff. Even a big firm will not take on a case like that unless they can be pretty sure of a big payoff by the insurance company at the end.

    And I seriously doubt you have the money to fund such an undertaking.

    Even if you did, you have to wonder if it is worth it. I love the McDonald's libel case where they spent 16 million and won a 98k judgment.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Lawyer Not Working Case

    One final thing. There are a number of steps required before filing a medical malpractice action. The following is a overall description of the process in Florida. This statute is copied by lots of states. Do some checking, AZ is probably similar. It sounds like your attorney did an investigation. If he will not stick his neck out, it is highly unlikely any other attorney would.
    -------------------------
    Medical malpractice lawsuits must follow complicated special rules. A whole chapter, Florida Statutes 766, is devoted to the subject.

    No action for medical negligence shall be filed until the attorney handling the case has made a reasonable investigation. Only if the attorney in good faith finds a basis for the lawsuit shall the attorney proceed. If the court finds that there is no justiciable issue, the court shall award attorney’s fees and taxable costs against the claimant’s ATTORNEY. The court shall submit the matter to the Florida Bar to determine if the attorney should be disciplined.

    After the investigation is done but before a lawsuit can be filed, a claimant must give notice to each prospective defendant by certified mail, return receipt requested, that a medical malpractice lawsuit is going to be filed. The notice must include a list of all health care providers of the claimant for the last two years.

    The medical malpractice suit cannot be filed until 90 days after the notice. During that period, the prospective defendant’s insurer shall review the situation. Before the end of the 90 days, the prospective defendant shall reject the claim, make a settlement offer or agree to arbitration.

    If the case goes to trial, “the claimant shall have the burden of proving by the greater weight of evidence that the alleged actions of the health care provider represented a breach of the prevailing professional standard of care for that health care provider. The prevailing professional standard of care for a given health care provider shall be that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.” (F. S.766.102) Basically, was the doctor’s work up to the industry’s standard?

    A witness in a medical malpractice trial may not give expert testimony concerning the prevailing professional standard of care unless he or she is a licensed health care provider. He or she must specialize in the area of expertise which is in question or a similar area. For the last three years, he or she must have been practicing medicine or teaching in a medical program.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
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    73,168

    Default Re: Lawyer Not Working Case

    If you believe your lawyer has acted unethically, you can make a complaint.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    4

    Default Re: Lawyer Not Working Case

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    If you believe your lawyer has acted unethically, you can make a complaint.
    So it seems the best I can do is complain that he was a horrible lawyer, he may or may not get a slap on the wrist and thats about it?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Lawyer Not Working Case

    In your case, he will not even get a slap on the wrist.

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