If you have an elder loved one who you believe has been abused or neglected by a caregiver, your first concern needs to be the health and safety of your loved one. If he or she is in immediate danger, contact the local authorities or call 911 at once. An elder abuse attorney can be an outstanding resource for protecting your elder loved one in the future. However, there are so many attorneys, it is hard to know how to pick one. Between the internet, the Yellow Pages, billboards, television and radio advertisements, there seem to be lawyers everywhere.
Choosing the right attorney is extremely important, but it is important to remember that there really is no such thing as “The Right Lawyer.” What you need is the right lawyer FOR YOU. Think about cars. Chances are, some of your friends and relatives have told you all about the car that they love. But maybe when you were in the market for a new car, you test drove the one someone told you was perfect and you just didn’t like it. In the same way, the right lawyer for someone else may not be the right lawyer for you, even in similar circumstances.
Here are some tips for searching for a lawyer:
Much of a lawyer’s business comes from word-of-mouth. Ask friends and relatives for names of attorneys with whom they have had good experiences. Don’t assume that the attorney who helped your best friend is the right one for you, but it’s a good place to start looking.
Speak with several attorneys. Many elder abuse attorneys will give a free consultation; make use of it. Explain your situation, your suspicions, any evidence you have, and find out what they think.
Remember that in order to help you, an attorney will need deeply personal information about your family. Feeling comfortable with your lawyer is of the utmost importance. When you speak with attorneys, make sure you find someone in whom you feel comfortable confiding personal information.
Experience counts for a lot. An attorney with experience is more likely to have worked through the various difficulties that may arise. Look for an attorney who seems comfortable with the details of your situation.