As an expert, hours are spent reading the medical records, forming an opinion and giving an oral opinion or writing up an affidavit if requested.
You want and you should be paid for the time you have “invested” in using your nursing skills to help move the case forward or defend the case, depending on the situation.
Another area to be sure you receive payment for your profession nursing service is when you provide testimony at a deposition.
You have a deposition scheduled to express your answers to the questions by opposing council. Your answers are based on your opinion of the deviations or no deviations in the “Nursing Standard of Care”, facts of the case and other standards that apply.
Clarify who will be paying the deposition time before you agree to move forward for the deposition. I recently asked an attorney wishing to hire me this vary question. His answer was, "I really do not know."
Not knowing who was going to pay for me time, was not a good sign and I ended up not working with this attorney. There was too much confusion on his part.
Sometimes it is the hiring attorney who will be paying and at other times it will be the opposing council (attorney) who is asking you for your opinions on the case.
You will receive advance payment for the deposition time upon your request if the opposing attorney is paying for the deposition. I recommend sending this advance deposition time invoice as soon as the deposition is scheduled.
My experience, the deposition time is always paid within 10 days of the scheduled deposition. The deposition date and time has been moved if the payment has not been received.
For example: My rule is to prebill for the deposition expected time to be deposed. If the deposition time is 4 hours, then you send an invoice for the request of the advance payment of 4 hours x (your hourly) deposition charge.
During the deposition, if the time advance payment does not cover all the time, this extra time and required payment needs to be memorialized during the deposition to avoid any future payment request confusion.
If there is extra time to be billed after the deposition, be sure this extra time to be charged is “memorialized” (stated by you) during the deposition.
In other words, this is discussed by you during the deposition (not off the record) when you realize the time is over and the court reporter will record the discussion as part of the transcript.
The deposing attorney (attorney / party who requested your deposition to hear your opinion) will state he/she will pay the balance upon prompt receipt of the invoice and you will expect your payment within a certain amount of time.
If the opposing attorney who is to be charged for your additional time during the deposition, refused at this time to pay, then you can end the deposition at that time. If there is a further need for a future deposition, the attorneys will work it out, based on your availability.
After the deposition, it is important you bill the attorney / your client promptly if there is additional time. Be sure to put the terms of payment on the invoice, such as “payable upon receipt” or “net 10 days”.
Be sure you follow up with the attorney responsible for the payment and do not let it "slide" and not receive you due monies for your hard work. You do not want to have to :chase" or have additional efforts to receive your payment for due services.
If appropriate, you can have the ability to accept a credit card payment at the end of the deposition and run the attorneys card.