Preparing for Your Initial Consultation

When you have done all that you can possibly do to ensure the health, safety and wellness of your child, you deserve better from the medical professionals who you expected to keep you and your child safe. Overall, medical negligence is absolutely unacceptable, and that is why I have focused my legal practice on educating the public about the severity of the issue and working towards preventing birth injuries moving forward.

To arrange your initial consultation, please call Stern Law, PLLC at (800) 462-5772. We are proud to offer a free evaluation of your case.

Ten questions to ask when scheduling an initial consultation

When you make your initial call, you likely will speak with the receptionist to schedule your initial consultation. This is a valuable opportunity to get some initial answers. If you are unable to meet in our office, we frequently provide in-home appointments for your convenience. Our employees are caring individuals and will answer patiently any questions you may have. Some questions to ask the receptionist when deciding whether to make an appointment for an initial consultation with any lawyer include:

  • What type of law does the firm practice? Does the firm concentrate in birth injury litigation?
  • How many years has the firm been in existence?
  • How many years has the lawyer been practicing in the field of birth injury litigation?
  • Do the firm’s lawyers typically represent the prosecution or the defense in birth injury cases?
  • Where is the office located?
  • Does the firm offer initial consultations? Are these done in person or over the phone?
  • If the firm does offer initial consultations, is there a charge?
  • What is accomplished in an initial consultation?
  • What items should be brought to the appointment?
  • What kind of fee structure does the attorney use?

You may also want to ask questions of the lawyer, such as:

  • Was a mistake made? Can it be proven?
  • It there a legal claim to be made?
  • Are there any statutes of limitations that affect the ability to pursue litigation?
  • What are the chances of successfully litigating the case?
  • At this point, what is the estimated value of the case?
  • Are there any caps on awards or settlements of which I should be aware?
  • How long will the process take?
  • What is the process?
  • What are the fees?
  • How does the billing process work?
  • How are expenses handled?
  • When is payment expected?
  • How is the attorney to be paid? When?
  • How are attorney communications handled?

Ten items to bring in an initial consultation

It is always a good idea to be as prepared as possible. We know your life is chaotic right now as you are making all the adjustments necessary to meet all the specialized needs of your child. We also know that you are a fighter and will do whatever is necessary to secure the best possible future for him or her.

Appointment preparation will help ensure the case is properly evaluated for merit so that everyone can accomplish the goal of getting you the help you need. A lawyer’s case evaluation is dependent upon the quality of information you present. Although the following items are not required, each can be helpful at the time of appointment, if available. The items include:

  • The mother’s health and prenatal records
  • The mother’s hospital records
  • The baby’s hospital records
  • The baby’s well-care visit records
  • Electronic fetal monitoring strips from the time of labor and delivery
  • The baby’s Apgar (appearance, pulse, grimace, activity, and respiration) score
  • The baby’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) records
  • Procedures performed during labor and delivery
  • Test results, diagnosis, and information on any associative conditions
  • School records, especially Independent Education Plans (IEP) for your child

You should not worry if these documents are not available at the time of initial consultation. If an attorney feels you may have a case, and does not see an initial reason to decline the case during the initial fact investigation, he or she may seek client permission to order the medical records on your behalf for further review.

You should include any other items that were requested by the lawyer’s office at the time the appointment was made. A pen and paper – to make notes during the meeting for review at a later time – can be helpful, as well. Often, your initial reactions are most important. You are acting for your child, struggling to get him the resources to live a full life, so pay attention to your gut reaction about the lawyer and how you think he will aid you in your quest.

Ten items the lawyer will assess before agreeing to take the case

To qualify for Lifetime Benefits, a case must have merit that can be proven in a court of law. The anticipated economic benefit to be derived should far outweigh the estimated expense of pursuing the benefit.

Seek a second opinion

If one lawyer declines a case, the family is urged to immediately seek a second opinion. Since the law requires legal action within a specified period of time – after which the right to pursue legal action is lost entirely – time is of the essence. If a lawyer does agree to represent you, it is still up to you to decide whether to pursue legal recourse.

Should you wish to discuss your child’s case further, Stern Law, PLLC is ready to help. For an initial consultation, second opinion or qualified assistance with non-legal issues relating to your child’s disability, please call (800) 462-5772 today.

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