I would always recommend that a family in your situation be represented by legal counsel. The hospital will most certainly have their legal counsel present at any meetings to represent the interests of the hospital and their insurance carrier; there is no reason or benefit to your family to not have an attorney as well. You may actually jeopardize your legal interests at such a meeting, because anything you say would constitute what the law refers to as “admissions,” and could be used against your family during a trial, if such a trial ever occurs.
Also, assuming the hospital is willing and continues to accept responsibility for mistakes that resulted in your mother’s death, the next issue for discussion would be appropriate compensation to your family members for her wrongful death. The hospital and its insurance company will most assuredly want to settle any potential claim you have for the least amount of money possible. That is something that only an experienced attorney can provide you with proper guidance on. (Did you know for example, that not only are the family members entitled to recover damages for the loss of your mom, but your mom’s estate is also entitled to recover for the pain and suffering she experienced before she died. That could be a substantial amount of monetary compensation to which you are entitled).
Having an attorney with a proven track record of winning cases at trial will only serve to increase the amount of money the hospital and insurance company will be willing to pay to settle a claim such as yours. Our firm has handled numerous cases against all of the hospitals in Franklin County, and obtained several of the largest verdicts for wrongful death in Franklin County history. Lawyers representing the hospitals know us well, and respect our ability to succeed in court if they do not treat our clients fairly in settlement negotiations.
In situations like this, we are also willing to work with you and your family on arriving at a fee arrangement that is fair to you. If the hospital, in fact, admits liability, that would obviously reduce the amount of time, work and expense we would have to incur, and we would be willing to reduce our standard fee arrangements to insure you are treated fairly. Do NOT be “penny wise and dollar foolish” in this situation. I assume the hospital did not advise you to seek an attorney’s advice, and there is a good reason for that: they would prefer to deal directly with you, without you having the benefit of an experienced malpractice trial attorney, in order to try to take advantage of you.
Contact the medical malpractice lawyers at Leeseberg & Valentine for aggressive, honest, and fair representation