If attempts to address a problem directly with a care provider have been unsuccessful, or if you suspect a caregiver of abuse, consider consulting an attorney to see whether legal action may be appropriate.
When interviewing lawyers you may hire, consider asking:
- How long have you been in practice?
- How many similar cases have you handled — and what were the results of those cases?
- What are the possible outcomes of my case and how quickly can I expect a resolution?
- Do you recommend settling out of court or seeking mediation?
- How will you keep me informed of progress: by telephone, fax, email, or text?
- Will others at your office be working on my case?
- How do you charge for services, and how often will you bill?
- What is a ballpark figure for the total bill, including fees and expenses?
- Is there anything I can do to help reduce the legal costs?
- Can you provide a recommendation from a satisfied client I could contact?
When talking with a person acting as a reference for a particular lawyer, it might be informative to ask:
- Did this lawyer respond to all your telephone calls and other communications promptly?
- Did the lawyer take the time to listen to you and understand your situation fully?
- Were all the bills you received properly itemized and in line with the cost projections you got at the start of your consultation?
- Did this lawyer personally handle your case, or was it handed off to a less experienced lawyer in the firm?
- Did the lawyer deliver what he or she promised?
Pay particular attention to whether the lawyer answers your questions clearly. A good lawyer may also offer the valuable advice that you do not have a good legal case or suggest a resolution such as arbitration or mediation that avoids a lawsuit — most of which are expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally wrenching.