If you’ve read my prior articles, you know my opinion — Billboard lawyers often harm their personal injury clients. As lawyers, our job is to help our clients. We should put first our clients’ interests. Yet, many billboard lawyers help themselves at their clients’ expense.
How do settlement mill lawyers smiling from billboards harm their personal injury clients? Over the coming weeks, I’m going to write posts discussing several ways these advertising lawyers often harm their injured clients. Today, I’ll talk about the sweetheart arrangements many of these settlement mill lawyers have with a specific chiropractor to profit from your injuries.
Here’s how the sweetheart deal between the billboard lawyer and a specific chiropractor works. You suffer a car accident injury and call the billboard lawyer. You probably don’t meet with the actual billboard lawyer. That’s a different issue we’ll discuss in a later post. You probably meet with an “investigator,” “runner” or other staff member. Once you sign the contract, the billboard lawyer wants you to see a specific chiropractor. His chiropractor. That chiropractor will then run-up the charges for your visits. The billboard lawyer will use these exorbitant charges to try and negotiate a deal with the insurance company to settle your claim. It’s an assembly line process designed so the billboard lawyer spends as little time as possible working on your file. That billboard lawyer simply wants to make a few phone calls. And, in many volume law firms, a staff member is actually making the calls. You get zero service from the lawyer.
Who benefits? Not you. The whole process is designed for the quick benefit of a lazy lawyer at your expense. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand they are being victimized by the settlement mill firm. Here’s the truth —
The Insurance Adjuster Knows Your Settlement Mill Lawyer Is Using A Bogus Medical Provider To Run Up The Tab
Insurance adjusters know which lawyers prepare their cases. They know which lawyers will go to trial. And, they certainly know which lawyers settle cheaply. If you are hurt and need a lawyer, this makes a huge difference in your claim. Do you think the insurance company pays full value to a billboard lawyer who won’t take them to court?
The lawyer on TV telling you he can get you a quick check for your wreck has an arrangement with a chiropractor. He sends client after client to that same chiropractor. Do you think the adjuster is surprised to see another file with the same lawyer-chiropractor combination? Do you think the adjuster is surprised to see another file with the exact same medical notes where the only difference is the patient name?
The adjuster has seen the same “medical provider” over and over. The adjuster knows this “medical provider” does not really practice medicine. After all, the person is spending all his or her time simply generating bills to settle cases.
Do you believe the adjuster (with all this knowledge) is going to offer the best deal for your claim? If you settle, it will be lower. What if you don’t settle? Do you believe the adjuster is worried about your billboard lawyer and his chiropractor actually going to trial? Of course not.
The Settlement Mill Lawyer Knows He Will Overpay His Medical Friend From Your Settlement Money
I’ve heard countless stories where billboard lawyers harmed their clients. Sometimes, the client realizes the wrong in time. Those clients are able to fire the billboard lawyer, hire another attorney and fix the damage. Sometimes, it’s too late.
Often, innocent clients only learn at the time of settlement that their billboard lawyer and his chiropractor are taking the bulk of their settlement money. What good is a settlement if it just pays the lawyer and his chiropractor?
Several weeks ago, I received a call from an accident victim who hired a well-known Alabama television lawyer. I won’t name the lawyer but he’s been known to shoot guns in his over-the-top commercials. The caller was upset with his lawyer. He had been in a wreck and gone to the emergency room for initial treatment. Afterwards, he hired the television lawyer who promptly referred him to his chiropractor. They ran up some pretty high medical bills but provided no real treatment. Then, the lawyer calls, tells him the at-fault driver only had $25,000 in coverage and the case is settled. Between the lawyers’ fee and the chiropractor bills, nothing was left for the injury victim. The guy is still hurting, received worthless care, and now is expected to pay his proceeds over to everyone else. Did the television lawyer consider his client’s best interest? Of course not. He could have obtained the coverage without running up huge bills.
Do settlement mill lawyers advocate for their clients when it comes to medical payments? Do they advocate for real care, not sham treatment? Do they advocate for cost-effective care, not exorbitant bills? Do they advocate for the chiropractor to accept less repayment. No. The settlement mill lawyer knows he will overpay the medical bills. And, he does not worry about the impact on his client. That’s completely unjust.
When people are hurt in a car accident, they need good advice and real advocacy. Often, that includes good advice about medical care and treatment options. Lawyers should advise and help their clients navigating the medical system to heal. In all cases, the primary goal should be to help the client — To put the client FIRST. Sham relationships designed simply to increase bills for the lawyer are wrong and unjust.
The Settlement Mill Lawyer Ignores Other Options For Clients Without Health Insurance
I understand some people lack health insurance. For these clients, medical treatment may be a difficult issue. But, it’s an issue the attorney and client can discuss together — acting in the client’s interest. It does not benefit the injured client to run up exorbitant bills that must be repaid for “care” that does not help the client’s health, healing or case. In many situations, you have medical options that do help. Don’t let a settlement mill lawyer take advantage of your injuries.