Visitor Question

Wrongful Death Case at a Nursing Home Rehab Center…

Submitted By: Michele (New York)

My mother went in to a facility for rehab from a broken hip. She was on a visit from the east coast. My sister along with the nursing home held a once null and void medical directive over her head. The sister had it done for an emergency bed sore operation that the hospital did not want to perform.

The medical directive kept my sister in charge and kept my mom half in hospice and half in medical treatment.

Our own lawyer has not once been up front and is losing our case. We are stronger now and he wants to keep dropping everyone he says he wanted to sue. He just never heard us, not even when we told him mom was on morphine and was not terminal.

He filed and filed and charged and charged and now he says he will settle for $10,000 dollars and mom’s ashes. Also, he is dropping our case if we do not settle. He never even tried to look at our evidence.

Now we are really alone but he got us 60 days. He asked over and over what we wanted and we repeatedly wrote it. I finally put a figure on top of it and he said they would never go for it. He never even let us show the medical directive was a false signature – all blood relatives signed to deem it null and void and never to be used again.

This wrongful death case really should not be as complicated as it sounds, if someone would just listen to the situation. It is actually sad.

Is there anything we can do about this lawyer and to get more compensation?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Michele,

Michele:

From the

facts you present it is difficult to know whether you and your family are suing the nursing home for the wrongful death of your mother. The medical directive you speak of seems to have been related solely to the “bed sore operation”. Although we are not quite sure what type of operation is performed for bed sores, we certainly understand your desire to protect your mother.

Normally a person’s ashes are not part of a settlement agreement. It would be interesting to know how the ashes figured into the settlement negotiations.

If you are not satisfied with your attorney you always have the option to dismiss him and retain new counsel. Bear in mind if you dismiss your present attorney he may retain a lien for attorney’s fees.

The most effective way to deal with the problems you are facing is to have a “sit down” with your attorney. It is very important for you to understand if you are accusatory or confrontational you will gain nothing. If you can withhold your frustration, even if it is just for the duration of the meeting, you can be assured the meeting will be mutually productive.

You should understand your attorney’s legal fees are based on the amount of the settlement or court awarded judgment. As a result he is probably doing all he can as the higher the settlement, the more money he makes.

From the facts you present we are not quite sure we understand when you say he “charged and charged”. Normally in Wrongful Death and other Personal Injury cases attorneys are paid only after the case is settled or a judgment is rendered.

Have a good meeting with your attorney.

Best of luck!

‘Law Guy

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: May 19, 2011

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