I just received a very interesting and troubling inquiry. It’s a story I’ve heard quite a few times over the years as a personal injury attorney.
This lady was injured and hired a so-called injury lawyer, who told her the case was worth big bucks. As time went on he didn’t work very hard, and, in fact, did very little.
The insurance company conducted an independent medical exam by a doctor of its own choosing. You won’t be surprised to hear that doctor, paid by the insurance company, did a report unfavorable to this injury victim.
These so-called independent medical exams are really dependent medical exams. After all, do you think the insurance companies use doctors who give them unfavorable reports? They pay big bucks for the reports. One doctor made over 1 million dollars one year doing these for insurance companies.
A good, experienced injury lawyer won’t back down; he’ll show the jury exactly what’s up. But this guy used the report to scare his own client.
Next, the insurance company lawyer took the injury victim’s deposition, and time marched on.
Eventually the lady hears that the insurance company offers very little to settle the case. Her injury lawyer, sensing a fight, takes the easy route and starts working on her to take less, much less than he said the injury case was worth when he took the case.
The case gets closer to trial; the insurance company does not budge. The injury lawyer, needing to do some preparation tells client he needs to get her doctor ready for trial, and it will cost some money to do so.
Knowing the client has no money, he attempts to get her to pay the out of pocket expenses.
See what’s happening here?
Sadly, it’s a common occurrence: when the going gets tough, the injury lawyer gives up his fight against the insurance company and takes on a much easier opponent– his very own client, the person who hired him to help, the person whose only friend in the battle was the injury lawyer, and the person who was willing to pay that injury lawyer 1/3 of all money collected.
It’s all very unethical and wrong.
The insurance company and the personal injury attorney become, in a very perverted sense–allies –sharing the same goal of forcing the victim to give it up in this case. The company benefits by paying little; the injury lawyer gets a fee without a lot of work.
Now jury selection is one week away, this lady, smelling a rat, wants to know if it’s too late to do anything…………………………………….
I hope I can help her.
Hiring an injury lawyer with a reputation for excellence costs the same as hiring a phony. Chances are you’ll sign a contingency agreement to pay 1/3 rd. Make sure you get a good injury lawyer from the start.
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Keep your strength.
Keene, New Hampshire