What to Expect from your
Hip Replacement Attorney

Introduction

The purpose of this page is to explain the role of the hip replacement attorney - essentially the attorney representing a person who has been injured by a hip implant that has been recalled, or by possible medical malpractice.

A hip implant attorney has a significant number of professional responsibilities to his client. He is privileged in that he holds a position of trust. His legal work & conduct, and the operations of his legal firm will be regulated by the professional body of which he is a member.

Set out below is a summary what you can reasonably expect from your hip replacement attorney. As with all information on this site, standards and expectations vary from one country to another, and sometimes also between states within countries. Therefore, check with your local Law Society to be sure you understand the responsibilities of your attorney in your specific location.



Here's what you can reasonably expect:

  • Competence

Your attorney should have appropriate skills, qualifications and experience to manage your case effectively and to the standards required by the professional body of which he is a member.

Put another way, an attorney should decline to act for a client where that attorney does not have the appropriate skills, qualifications or experience to manage that particular case in a competent manner.

  • Honesty and Transparency

A hip replacement attorney should be honest and open with his client at all times. Clearly his primary role is to be your representative - as custodian and champion of your potential legal case. However, the attorney must be balanced in his approach to this.

He should never overstate the strength of your case, and should always give a balanced view of the strengths, weaknesses and probability of a successful outcome.

A good attorney will also give his client reasonable estimates of the financial dimensions of your hip injury case, both the upside and the downside.

An attorney should always advise his client to be open and honest, and never to conceal evidence or facts, or lie in any way shape or form.

  • Communication

A hip replacement attorney should communicate clearly and regularly with his client.

A client has a reasonable expectation that his attorney will keep him updated on the progress and status of his case, and that any correspondence and telephone inquiries from the client to the attorney or his office will be responded to efficiently and on a timely basis.

  • Advocacy

Your hip replacement attorney should act in your best interests at all times. This extends to giving you opinions or guidance which you may not wish to hear, but which nevertheless may be in your best interests.

For example it may be that following detailed assessment and consideration of the facts of your potential case, your attorney forms the view that, on balance, your case is not sufficiently strong to warrant taking forward in law. The attorney must strive to be as objective and balanced as possible.

To exaggerate and make the point - it would be wholly reckless and unprofessional for a hip replacement attorney to:

  • Accept a case and initiate a formal legal action through the courts based solely on the client's (inevitably subjective and necessarily personally biased) description of the facts and circumstances, without first undertaking his own research, case evaluation and due diligence.
  • Exaggerate the probability of a successful outcome simply to secure the appointment; inflate the possible value of any financial settlement that might be achieved; fail to mention or understate any financial exposure or downside that the client might face should the case be lost.
  • Diligence

A hip implant recall case or a medical malpractice case can take many months or even years from start to finish.

Your attorney has a responsibility to be diligent and to efficiently manage your case throughout its full life cycle.

Maintaining pace and focus is important for a number of reasons, not least to ensure that any key activities are completed prior to any hard deadlines or due dates (see Statute of Limitations), and to minimize the overall cost of the legal action.

Hopefully your hip replacement attorney will make you feel like you are the only client he has!... but in reality he will probably have many live cases to manage concurrently. For this reason it is important that he is organized, diligent and efficient, and has appropriate administration and support capabilities within his firm as required to manage his caseload from time to time.

One important point to keep in mind is that certain activities, stages and dates will not be within the control of your attorney.

For example, the attorney is unlikely to be able to influence the:

  • Dates of court hearings
  • Speed with which defendants respond to questions or papers put to them.
  • Time taken by judges and juries make decisions

In addition, activities within any legal system will take a certain period of time to complete, based on all of the uncertainties and vagaries of public servants being involved. Again, communication is the key - if a delay or a period of waiting is likely and unavoidable then a diligent attorney should make his client aware of that.



Summary

Thankfully most people go through life and rarely or only very occasionally need to engage an attorney. For anyone injured by a hip replacement implant or medical malpractice, the personal stakes are very high. Consequently, your choice of lawyer and the quality of the professional relationship between client and attorney are of critical importance.

The vast majority of attorneys can be relied on to act professionally and to discharge their responsibilities in a diligent, competent and conscientious manner.

Never forget however that as the client, you should engage with your attorney in a positive and proactive manner, recognizing that you share equal responsibility for establishing and maintaining an effective professional relationship between attorney and client.