COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients.

Articles Tagged with medical

Published on:

Blackwell Law Firm - Alabama Personal Injury LawyersYou are injured from an accident. You are pursuing a claim for damages or compensation. Suddenly, the insurance carrier wants you to see its doctor for an examination. If your case involves a car accident or work comp claim, you may face this request. Sometimes, the insurance carrier even calls its request an “independent medical exam.” Yet, these exams are neither independent nor fair.

Before I talk about the biased insurance company doctor, let me say that these biased doctors are small in number. Lawyers who frequently prepare and try cases will tell you they see the same few bad ones repeatedly. Doctors are like any other profession. Almost all of them are dedicated to serving their patients. The same rule applies to lawyers, accountants, and any other professional. But, a few bad apples exist.

With lawyers, the bad apples are those settlement mill lawyers making promises while refusing to do the work really needed to help clients. When it comes to automobile accident, workers’ compensation or disability claims, we see a few doctors who seemingly make their living issuing misleading reports so claims can be denied. In both the legal and medical professions, the bad ones want to make money pushing paper instead of getting to the heart of their clients’ stories and losses. One sure sign of biased doctors is that many of them have little or no medical practice outside insurance company evaluations. Good doctors actually treat patients. Good doctors don’t make their living generating claims reports.

Published on:

The nation’s leading business group is mounting a new attack on advertisements run by trial lawyers that tell consumers about the negative side effects from medical drugs and devices.

Let me start — I don’t like modern attorney advertising. Locally in northern Alabama, we have an attorney on television advertising for automobile accident injury cases who refuses to help injured people in court. Think about that —  The lawyer asks for your injury case but won’t go to court when needed! Another Huntsville law firm raised billboards seeking personal injury cases but then added fine print to their website saying they really intend to sign and refer the cases to outside counsel. These lawyers serve themselves, not their clients. When it comes to drugs and medical devices, we even have lawyers running ads who are not licensed in Alabama.

I find most of these ads distasteful. Complaints about them are completely justified. Yet, the Chamber of Commerce’s approach is pure hypocrisy. While attacking television advertisements from lawyers, the Chamber has done nothing to reduce deceptive drug company advertisements. The Chamber is protecting the drug companies who rush deadly and dangerous drugs to market for huge profits. As one attorney noted:

Published on:

Huntsville Workers Compensation LawyersWith each new year, we see a renewed push to harm injured workers in Alabama. The latest effort — legislation proposed by Senator Arthur Orr. The Senator has renewed his effort from prior years to cut-off medical and disability benefits for severely injured Alabama workers. Why does Senator Orr continue to push for new laws that will harm working men and women in Alabama?

Here are two work comp changes sought by Senator Orr:

  1. Senator Orr proposes arbitrary time limits on medical benefits that would leave some workers without needed medical care or treatment.
Published on:

Alabama Truck Accident Lawyers At Blackwell Law Firmrecent article discusses a Georgia truck driver barred from driving by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) due to personal health issues. Do you know if the driver of that big truck next to you on the highway is healthy and safe? Commercial drivers with serious health issues are a major safety issue on our highways.

A recent FMCSA study of truck driver health paints a troubling picture. According to the study comparing long-haul truck drivers to other workers:

  • Obesity in truck drivers is twice as high
Published on:

Legal Help For The Seriously Injured In AlabamaAttorneys who handle personal injury cases know that so-called independent medical examinations (IMEs) are really not independent at all. They are neither independent nor real medical examinations.

These exams are usually an effort by the insurance company and its defense lawyers to purchase a false and misleading opinion. They are an effort to create evidence and mislead juries. Many of the doctors who perform these examinations are absolutely biased against the patient.

What really bothers me is that many plaintiff attorneys willingly let their clients submit to these biased and bogus exams. Attorneys who simply let their clients submit to these examinations are not acting in their client’s best interests. The false and misleading IME reports purchased by insurance carriers can have devastating effects upon injured workers and accident victims seeking justice. They harm all of us by distorting the truth.

Published on:

Earlier this month, Cumberland Law School sponsored its 26th Annual Workers’ Compensation Seminar. The speakers included a Judge on The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals and a well-known orthopedic surgeon. One of the afternoon sessions included a panel of four attorneys answering questions from the audience related to workers’ compensation in Alabama. I was honored to serve on that panel. The four of us represented diverse areas of the state. While my office is in the Huntsville / Decatur area, the other three panel members came from Dothan, Mobile, and Tuscumbia.

We discussed a number of very interesting issues and concerns related to workers’ compensation and medical issues. Three issues seemed to generate a significant discussion as well as a lot of questions. These were:

  1. Closing Medical Benefits.
Published on:

Alabama Accident & Injury LawyersI recently read an article by attorney Edwin Lamberth titled “Beating the Malingering Defense” on his firm’s blog. Edwin is an excellent attorney practicing in Mobile, Alabama. I’ve discussed personal injury cases with Edwin on many occasions. His post raises a frequent issue in our personal injury cases.

What is the issue? What is the “malingering defense” used by insurance companies and their lawyers? As Edwin notes in his article, defense lawyers will rarely come right out and say your injured client is exaggerating or faking his injuries. If they did, you could prove them wrong and destroy their credibility. Instead, these insurance company lawyers will imply bad motives, cast doubt on the injured person’s efforts or suggest he may be exaggerating. While an outright accusation of malingering could be proven wrong, a hint or cloud of suspicion leaves doubt that is more difficult to defeat. That’s the plan followed by insurance defense lawyers.

How do you handle shadows of doubt cast by insurance company lawyers in your personal injury claim? Most lawyers for injured claimants ignore the shadow of doubt. But, that is the absolute worst approach in most cases. I agree with the advice offered by Edwin in his article.

Published on:

It’s a scenario repeated frequently by callers to our office. First, the caller tells us he suffered a work-related accident and injury. Then, the caller tells us the workers’ compensation carrier has simply denied his claim on the basis he had a “pre-existing” injury or condition. Often, these denials involve some prior injury that occurred years ago or some prior condition that did not prevent the person from working his current job.

How does Alabama’s Workers’ Compensation Act treat the issue of “pre-existing” conditions? I learned long ago that every case presents unique facts and issues. But, here are two general principles in Alabama:

  1. A pre-existing condition that did NOT affect the employee’s work performance before the disabling injury is generally NOT considered a pre-existing condition under Alabama’s Workers’ Compensation Act.
Contact Information