Hiring a Healthcare Lawyer? Look for These 5 Characteristics | Undoubtedly, determining whom you will name as your healthcare attorney is one of the most daunting and critical decisions you have to make. Hence, it is vital to give some thought to selecting the right person for this role. Depending on the state’s regulations, your healthcare attorney may also be called a proxy or surrogate.
A healthcare lawyer is someone you choose to make medical decisions for you when you are no longer in the condition to communicate your wishes for care. For instance, if you are badly injured from an accident, your healthcare attorney will advocate for you if there’s a need for extraordinary measures to be taken. Other than that, your attorney can consent to surgery, request to take you off life support, or refuse to have you placed on life-support machines. Moreover, your agent will not be able to prevail over any healthcare preferences you set out in a living will. However, they will have complete authority to make medical decisions on your behalf.
Your primary concern when selecting a healthcare attorney should be trust. In addition, listed below are some essential characteristics to consider when choosing the right healthcare lawyer.
- Someone with relevant healthcare experience
Aim to find an attorney with years of credible and reliable experience in specific healthcare matters. You can find out the healthcare attorney’s expertise by carefully interviewing them and reviewing their website or credentials.
It is also critical to hire the right person for the job, depending on your case. For instance, if you or your loved ones are suffering from a birth injury case, appointing an attorney who advocates for general matters won’t suffice. Instead, you must visit a helpful resource, such as the Birth Injury Justice Center, and gain legal guidance and information regarding which steps you should take.
Furthermore, many attorneys claim they practice healthcare law, but their experience is limited. For instance, a lawyer may say that they do healthcare law. Still, they could be a litigator who has represented only one client throughout their years of practice. A good healthcare lawyer is a winner of many battles in the field. The lawyer understands the intricacy of regulatory and legal subjects in the wellness and health field and the importance of sound and solid advice that helps you in the end.
- Someone approachable and flexible
Does your healthcare lawyer have a good personality and a calm demeanor?
Lawyers often sound, feel, and look like robots (not the latest kind, either). It is indispensable to find an attorney who comes across as approachable and personable. Your attorney may have stellar credentials but shouldn’t come off as a stuffed shirt.
That said, find someone who not only gives you straightforward legal advice but also sympathizes with you on a personal level. Therefore, ensure your healthcare attorney isn’t intimidating or distant.
- Some who is well-spoken
Consider the way your prospective healthcare attorney communicates. Is the person naturally easy-going and able to communicate clearly, even at knifepoints? Or does this person become easily agitated when things get emotional or heated? Would this person be able to share your wishes effectively, not only with your family but with your medical team as well?
Each of these considerations contributes to determining your appointed attorney’s speech patterns. If they take time to reach a point of conclusion or understand the context of an argument, you may want to reconsider. In challenging medical affairs, the person you select needs to be a decisive and robust communicator.
- Someone who is self-confident
Keep in mind that your healthcare attorney may have to fight to declare your demands in the face of a tenacious medical establishment. That said, you need to find a healthcare lawyer who is firm and knows how to convince others.
Things can even get worse if your decisions are against the wishes of some family members. If you foresee the possibility of a clash in enforcing your demands, ensure to pick an assertive and strong-willed agent.
- Someone who can advocate for you financially
Let’s suppose, along with the need to hire a healthcare lawyer; you also need someone to manage your finances in case of incapacitation. In that case, it is wise to name the same person as both your agent for finances and a healthcare agent.
If you have to select different people, ensure you name attorneys who will work together effectively. You wouldn’t, for instance, want your lawyer for finances to interfere with your healthcare demands by resisting or stalling payments – would you? Although these are the two things your financial agent will most likely have control over, it is crucial to forbid your agent from being caught up.
That concludes our list of characteristics to consider while appointing the person who will advocate for you when you’re unable to. Suppose you do not have a healthcare attorney or even a living Will. In that case, your family members may disagree about the type of care you should receive.
And so, depending on the state in which you live, hospital administrators or doctors may make judgments about your medical care. By making the right choice for yourself, you can help your friends and family make decisions during stressful times.