FAQS

Why should I hire The Law Offices of Darren O’Quinn for this type of case?

The Law Offices of Darren O’Quinn has the necessary experience and resources to evaluate and prosecute your case. Because we screen our cases for merit on the front end and only take cases with serious injuries or death, we do not have to do cases in volume and can pay specific attention to your case. In fact, Darren O’Quinn will personally handle your case. Mr. O’Quinn is a pharmacist/attorney with over 20 years of practice experience and formerly was a partner in a large law firm. He defended these cases for insurers, doctors, hospitals, nurses, pharmacists, and nursing homes. Through that experience, Mr. O’Quinn gained valuable insight into successfully screening and aggressively preparing these cases for trial so that, ultimately, a careless wrongdoer will accept responsibility for the harms and losses caused to you.

Are these types of cases really that common and how do lawsuits help correct the problems?

Definitely yes. Medical malpractice is about real people with real injuries. The November 1999 report of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), entitled To Err Is Human: Building A Safer Health System, focused a great deal of attention on the issue of medical errors and patient safety. The Institute of Medicine estimates that as many as 98,000 people die each year in the US from preventable medical patient safety rule violations—higher than motor vehicle accidents (43,458), breast cancer (42,297), or AIDS (16,516). About 7,000 people per year are estimated to die from medication errors alone—about 16 percent more deaths than the number attributable to work-related injuries. Rather than reforming the legal system that provides protections to these injured patients, we must focus on reforming the medical system in this country to prevent these errors from ever happening in the first place. One of the reasons our civil justice system exists is to make people more careful, and that can be a positive effect that your case can have on the person you are suing. Experience has proven that a single lawsuit can eliminate the dangers caused by unsafe practices and products.

What should I do if I or someone in my family has been harmed by the carelessness of someone else?

If you or someone in your family has been harmed by the carelessness of another, you should seek competent professional advice as soon as possible to see if you have a claim for the harms and losses in order to fix what can be fixed, help what can be helped, and make up for what cannot be fixed or helped. There are many kinds of harms and losses, and the cause is not always clear. The Law Offices of Darren O’Quinn has extensive experience in finding the cause of harms and losses and finding ways to make the careless parties who caused them to accept responsibility and fix, help, and make up for them. We can help you determine whether you have a valid claim and, if so, who is responsible and what compensation may be available for you.

Why is it important to seek advice promptly?

You want to make sure that all relevant evidence is preserved and not inadvertently destroyed or lost. You also need to comply with statutes of limitations and other legal requirements that may bar claims if made too late.

How do you determine if I have a valid claim?

In a potential medical malpractice or nursing home neglect case, The Law Offices of Darren O’Quinn evaluates the medical records and undertakes research of medical literature, consulting with physicians and nurses in multiple specialties, as necessary, to determine (a) if there were violations of patient safety rules and (b) whether the violations in fact caused harms and losses. Because the firm has investigated and litigated cases in numerous medical, hospital, pharmacy, and nursing home cases, many potential claims involve areas of medical science with which we are already familiar. In product liability or automobile accident cases The Law Offices of Darren O’Quinn may engage experts in engineering or accident reconstruction to help in determining the possible merits of a claim. If the issue is a dangerous drug or medical advice, or medication error, experts in the fields of pharmacology, toxicology, and related areas may be consulted.

What if I am contacted by an insurance company or risk manager?

There has been a recent trend, in some situations involving severe injury, where the nursing home or hospital may seem to take responsibility for an injury. Representations may be made by the staff at these facilities that they will “do what’s right” to remedy the situation. Don’t be lulled into believing this song. Rarely –if ever — do these individuals really have the interests of the injured party in mind. Moreover, without the consultation of a lawyer well versed in what damages an injured person is entitled to receive, the nursing home or hospital will use its uneven bargaining position in its favor. The bottom line: If you have been injured, do not discuss your injury or the way it happened until you have consulted a lawyer. These statements might be incomplete or taken out of context and be harmful to your claim at a later date. Do not sign any papers or agree to any settlement, as this may affect your right to pursue your claim. Always seek competent legal advice first. At The Law Offices of Darren O’Quinn there is no charge for this consultation, so why not take advantage of this free no-obligation consultation?

Will there be a legal fee to evaluate my claim?

No. At The Law Offices of Darren O’Quinn we will meet with you to discuss your harms and losses free of charge.

How does The Law Offices of Darren O’Quinn get paid?

If you have suffered harms and losses through the carelessness of someone else and we take your case, The Law Offices of Darren O’Quinn is paid no fee unless it is successful in obtaining compensation for you. The Law Offices of Darren O’Quinn handles personal injury claims on a contingent fee basis. This means that the legal fee is a percentage of the amount recovered, based on the complexity of the case, and there is no fee due unless and until money is actually collected for you. This is our no fee guarantee. All of this is explained in our one page employment contract that we enter into with you if we find your claim to be well-founded. Simply put, a contingency payment is a payment based on a recovery for the injured person. The client is not responsible for paying the lawyer for any of the time he spent on the case. So, the lawyer will not perform at anything less than his best because there is a huge incentive for successfully litigating the case.

What about case expenses?

There are certain expenses, such as costs of medical records, court costs and expert witness fees, involved in bringing a personal injury claim. Once The Law Offices of Darren O’Quinn has evaluated your claim and determined it to be well-founded, we will in most cases advance expenses to be reimbursed at the end of the case from the amount we recover for you. All of this is explained in our one page employment contract that we enter into with you if we find your claim to be well-founded.

How much of my time will this take?

Surprisingly, your claim will not require a great deal of your time, unless it goes all the way to trial. After the initial interview, The Law Offices of Darren O’Quinn will do most of the work for you. In the typical case, you would be required to come to the office two or three times to answer written and oral questions about what happened to you. Aside from these questions, which are a routine part of the court process, very little of your time will be required to get the case ready for trial. The final trial preparation process will, however, require more of a time commitment.

Will I have to go to court?

You will not have to go to court unless your case cannot be settled and must be tried. Because of the careful screening of meritorious cases undertaken by The Law Offices of Darren O’Quinn, the large majority of claims are settled before trial; however, because of the many factors involved (including that some people refuse to accept responsibility for their carelessness until faced with a jury), it is impossible to predict whether your particular case is one which will be settled or one which must be decided by a jury.

Will I hurt the person I’m suing by bringing a claim?

Almost all claims we take are defended by insurance company lawyers and paid by insurance, so the person or corporation you sue will not usually have to pay any money out-of-pocket. The claims we take are a civil case, not a criminal case, and the defendant will not go to jail because of the claim. However, one of the reasons our civil justice system exists is to make people more careful, and that can be a positive effect that your case can have on the person you are suing. Experience has proven that a single lawsuit can eliminate the dangers caused by unsafe practices and products.

Is it ever too late to bring a claim?

It is important to consult a lawyer as soon as you are aware that you have suffered a harm or loss, because there are statutes of limitations which prohibit the bringing of old claims, and because it is easier to gather information about a recent injury. However, even if you were injured some time ago (and especially if the injured person is a minor or disabled from bringing an action on their own), you may still be able to bring a claim. Statutes of limitations are strictly enforced and can bar your case forever, so it is important to consult a lawyer as soon as an incident happens. Talk with a lawyer to get more information.

Why should I bring a claim?

If you are injured through the carelessness of someone else, you are entitled by law to full and fair compensation for your harms and losses in order to fix what can be fixed, help what can be helped, and make up for what cannot be fixed or helped. This compensation is available not only for expenses you have already incurred, but for losses you will suffer in the future. If you or someone in your family is severely injured or killed by the carelessness of someone else, this compensation can protect against changes in family situations, so that the injured person’s future is secure. Also, by bringing a claim you may be able to prevent similar injury from happening to someone else. Experience has proven that a single lawsuit can eliminate the dangers caused by unsafe practices and products.

Do I still have a claim if my medical bills were paid by insurance or Medicare/Medicaid?

Often. In many cases you are entitled to be compensated for your medical bills regardless of whether or not they have been paid. However, your health insurance company and Medicare/Medicaid normally claim reimbursement from you if any of your compensation represents bills that the insurer or Medicare/Medicare has paid (Federal laws impose a Medicare and/or Medicaid lien on all injury-related cases involving a recovery from a third-party. This is called “subrogation.”) In addition to your medical expenses, you may be entitled to compensation for many other aspects of your harms and losses, such as by the immediate injuries (broken bones, brain damage, bedsores, death, etc.), problems caused by your immediate injuries (limited motion, scarring or disfigurement, decreased mental functioning, infections, etc.), consequences of the problems caused by your immediate injuries (missed work, lost income, loss of hobbies, loss of life, loss of ability to care for your children, etc.), and fixes/helps (surgery, pain medication, future loss income or medical expenses, counseling, etc.).

What is the value of my claim?

The value of your claim depends on a wide variety of factors, such as the severity and permanency of your injury, the amount of your medical expenses, the liability of the defendant, and whether the case is to be tried or settled. It is impossible to estimate the value of a claim until the case has been fully investigated from all aspects, and sometimes its valuation may fluctuate depending on developments during the course of the litigation. You should be wary of anyone who tries to tell you the value of your claim at an early stage. After we have completed a thorough investigation of your case, we are in a position to offer you our opinion as to the value of your claim. If the insurance company offers to settle your claim, we will discuss the proposed settlement with you, and give you our advice about whether to accept the amount offered. Of course, the ultimate decision to accept an insurance company’s offer of settlement or to allow a jury to determine the value of your injuries is always up to you.

If I have a claim, how long will it take?

The initial evaluation of a claim requires records to be requested and reviewed and usually takes a month or so, except for medical malpractice or nursing home neglect claims, which may take three to six months. After a lawsuit is filed, the length of time depends on how crowded the court calendar is, and whether the insurance company is willing to accept responsibility and settle the claim before trial. Most cases take between one and three years to complete.

What geographic areas do your lawyers take cases from?

The Law Offices of Darren O’Quinn has lawyers who are admitted to all the federal and state courts in Arkansas. We routinely prosecute cases in those courts. We also practice in other states with co-counsel from those areas. We have helped with successful cases in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, New York, and elsewhere. Click here for more information on The Law Offices of Darren O’Quinn’s medical malpractice, medication error, and nursing home neglect practice areas. If you have more questions about personal injury cases, please contact us.
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