Saturday, January 22, 2011

When should you retain a lawyer?

This is my first post on this subject because I have prioritized the medical issues first.  I have postponed this due to the fact that I have not had surgery yet.  Certainly my family and close friends have advised that I retain a lawyer given it is likely that I will have to replace the hip.
The obvious questions:
·         Should I retain one before I get the replacement
·         Should I retain one even if I don’t choose to get the replacement?
·         Should I retain one prior to signing any papers from Depuy in order to get my costs reimbursed for merely evaluating my options with the physician.
My thoughts:
·         If you have been harmed (however that is defined) and you intend to bring a claim, you  will need an attorney to do so and you should be aware of the statue of limitations in your state with respect to filing a suit.  I believe in a case like this, it is 2 years in NY from the date you knew you were harmed. I believe each state has different rules on filing.  Following is a general URL you can use to look up the statue of limitations in your state:  http://www.edgarsnyder.com/statute-limitations/
·         If you ask any of the personal injury lawyers who seem to be available in hordes to file a suit against Depuy, they will tell you to retain one before you do anything (including processing claims) with Depuy.  Personally, I don’t think that is necessary.  You do not have to sign anything with Depuy before they begin reimbursing you for your claims when consulting with your doctor.  Depuy (via Broadspire-thier claims agent) is paying my claims and I have signed nothing.    They do not require you sign anything to start the process.  The claim that have been discussed on the web requiring that you must  “sign your rights away” before dealing with Depuy/Broadspire is incorrect.  I have not found the depuy claims agents to be anything but helpful.
·         If you don’t get a replacement and want to retain an attorney, you are going to need to prove you have been harmed.
·         It is important that you do have procedures in place to have the extracted hip sent to an independent lab for analysis if you are intending on filing a suit. plaintiff lawyers who deal with product recall suits in the medical arena will advise on that procedure.  If you have questions on this prior to visiting a lawyer, I can publish something on that procedure.
Insofar as my interaction with attorneys, I have had none to date.  Once I understand and qualify the harm that has occured-if there is any, I will speak to an attorney.   Replacing a hip is certainly enough to warrant visiting a medical product liability plaintiff lawyer.
I will publish some of the questions I have for them in a subsequent post.
connie

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