Do you have a referral arrangement with a specific chiropractor or doctor? It’s a question some callers ask. The answer is, NO. If you suffered a serious car accident injury, the worst thing you can do is hire a lawyer who has a secret referral relationship with a specific chiropractor or doctor. In a recent video, Virginia lawyer Ben Glass says these secret relationships are “the kiss of death for your case.”
We’ve all heard the television commercials! We’ve all seen the billboards! Please call, the lawyer begs. These are settlement mill lawyers. They are operating an assembly line process. Sign the client. Refer the client to a special chiropractor. Inflate the medical charges. Make a settlement demand on the insurance company. Take what you can get. (Take what “little” you can get.). That assembly line process fails clients who are truly injured. It benefits only the lawyer and his chosen clinic. That’s wrong.
The settlement mill lawyers all over television and billboards do not want you to know the truth. They are running a sham that hurts already injured people a second time.
These special lawyer-chiropractor arrangements have become so common, some callers now expect them. But, those deals are the worst thing for your case. Here are four reasons why you should NEVER hire a lawyer who has a special chiropractor seeing all his clients.
Insurance Companies Track These Relationships And Offer LOWER Settlements!
That’s right. Insurance companies keep information on your lawyer and your doctor. Insurance companies know which lawyers settle for small amounts and which lawyers will prepare their cases for court. The insurance company knows that billboard lawyer won’t go to court.
The insurance company knows about the relationship between these settlement mill lawyers and their clinic. They know that every single time the “fast cash TV lawyer signs a client,” then his demand will include a generated report from the same chiropractor saying the same things. You need to face the facts. The insurance company knows your settlement mill lawyer always uses a specific medical evaluator. The company knows what he will say — because his reports say the same thing in almost every case. And, the insurance company knows he will probably never testify to support his opinions.
The insurance company knows and factors these relationships into its evaluation of your claim. That’s not a good thing. The insurance company will offer a lower amount to settle your case. It will discount your case.
Your Lawyer Is Running Up Unnecessary Charges That Will Benefit Him BUT NOT YOU!
Remember the old saying — It’s all good, until you get the bill! It’s so true with settlement mill lawyers. They promise to take care of everything for you. And, they do. But, you pay a big price!
Several months ago, a man called our office upset about his settlement mill lawyer. I won’t name the lawyer. But, the lawyer brands himself with the nickname of a common tool. And, he likes to make ads where he shoots things. Why was the caller mad? He was injured in a car accident. He was was hurt and went to a local emergency room. But, the other driver (the at-fault driver) had only the minimum required liability insurance in Alabama of $25,000. The case was worth every penny of that available coverage. The settlement mill lawyer never interviewed the client, never looked at the medical records, and never studied the file. The lawyer signed the client and immediately sent him to the firm’s chiropractor. Guess what happened next? The lawyer’s clinic ran-up inflated bills for no real treatment. The client never received healing care. At the end of the case, the small recovery went mainly to the lawyer and chiropractor. The client received almost nothing. During his case, nobody ever discussed these issues with him. He was understandably upset.
In case-after-case, these secret relationships inflate the bills but provide very little real, helpful care. At the end of these cases, the client sees most of his settlement money go to legal and medical bills. We frequently receive calls from people who hired one of these settlement mill lawyers only to have most of their settlement money taken. That’s wrong.
Your Lawyer Has A Conflict That Impacts His Ability To Negotiate Subrogation Claims!
Let’s look at a normal car accident injury case. You are hurt. You seek medical care. Maybe you have private health insurance like Blue Cross. Maybe you participate in a government plan like Medicare or Medicaid. Either way, the provider pays your bills.
Yes, these providers have certain rights to repayment if you win your case. But, you received good medical care. And, your lawyer can often negotiate with the provider for lower repayments. A good lawyer can save his clients a lot of money — That puts more of any settlement in your pocket.
What about the settlement mill lawyer who has an “arrangement” with some clinic? First, the bills are already inflated. Is the settlement mill lawyer working for you? Or, is he working to profit from his side medical deal? Do you really expect that lawyer to fight for you — To try and save you money? These lawyers have a huge conflict of interest. And, you pay the price.
If Your Case Goes To Trial, The Chiropractor Or Doctor (Who Works Exclusively For Your Lawyer) May Get Destroyed On Cross-Examination!
Trial! If you are like most folks, you hope your case settles. I get it. Most people would prefer not to be in trial.
The best way to achieve a good settlement is to hire a lawyer with the experience and dedication to prepare your case. Insurance companies pay more when facing a lawyer who prepares his or her cases for trial.
Many settlement mill lawyers refuse to go to court. Many settlement mill lawyers have never stepped into a courtroom as an advocate. Insurance companies pay them far less.
Can you imagine one of these medical providers who prepares reports for settlement mill lawyers trying to testify? Can you imagine him testifying as your medical expert?
How do you think the cross-examination will go? The insurance company lawyer knows the medical provider makes most of his money generating records and bills for some television lawyer. The insurance company knows the medical provider says the same thing in report-after-report. The cross-examination would be brutal. And, the provider would have little or no credibility by the time it ended.
I’ve seen this from the other direction. What do I mean? I’ve also tried work comp cases in courts across northern Alabama for injured worker clients. Many area employers send injured workers straight to a specific “occupational” clinic in Huntsville. These “occupational” clinics frequently work just for the defense. I’ve deposed those guys for trials. Their words, reports and actions are the same in almost every case. They have almost no credibility. When a “clinic” focuses on generating reports for one side rather than providing quality medical care, their credibility is easily lost.
If you are hurt, you need real medical care. You need this care to try and heal. If you end up in court, you need the testimony of a doctor who makes his living actually treating and helping people. Those are the doctors we trust.
What Should You Do?
If you suffered a serious injury, look for a serious lawyer. Do your research. Talk to local lawyers. (Don’t settle for any firm where you only speak to runners, investigators or staff). If you have access to health coverage or care, get the treatment you need. Your health should be the top priority. If you don’t have health coverage, you still have options. A dedicated lawyer can explore them with you. You need to have an honest discussion with a skilled, experienced attorney to prepare the best path for you.
From its office in Huntsville, the Blackwell Law Firm helps injured people across Alabama. If you have questions about a legal issue, let us know. Our consultations are always free and confidential. We want you to have the information and answers you need.