WHY IS THERE A SUPPLY OF PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS?
I joke that I became an attorney due to poor math skills. There is some truth to that but I do recall intro to economics and the concept of Supply and Demand. Basically, there is no supply unless there is a demand. So, why is there a supply of personal injury attorneys? Because insurance companies create the demand. I want to highlight a couple of the methods insurance companies employ to create this demand.
INSURANCE COMPANIES COME UP WITH THEIR OWN NUMBERS AS TO WHAT THEY FEEL THE AMOUNT THE MEDICAL BILLS SHOULD BE IN YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CARE, DISREGARDING THE ACTUAL AMOUNT OF THE MEDICAL BILLS AS DETERMINED BY THE PROVIDER
Medical bills: as part of your personal injury recovery, in part you are entitled to receive compensation in the amount of your medical bills. The law says that, plain and simple. However, nothing is plain and simple when dealing with the insurance companies in negotiating your personal injury compensation. When they do make an offer they base it on “accepted” medical bills. What does this mean? This means that the insurance company makes their own decision as to what the amount of the bills should be. They submit the billings to a company like Benchmark, who goes through the billing and gives the insurance company some low-ball number as to what the “appropriate” amount of the bills should be for the services rendered in relation to the personal injury. Thus, if you have an emergency room bill for $8,000.00, the insurance company will claim the bill should only be $4,000.00 and make that their offer. What this doesn’t account for is the fact the bill in your mailbox from the hospital is still in the amount of $8,000.00. The insurance company doesn’t attempt to establish and agreement with the hospital to accept $4,000.00. They don’t negotiate on your behalf. They just unilaterally decide what the hospital should have billed and offer you that amount. This is done on almost every single bill; radiology, physical therapy, chiropractic, ambulance, etc.
HAVING TO DEAL WITH SO-CALLED EXPERT WITNESSES THAT ARE REPEATEDLY HIRED BY THE INSURANCE COMPANIES AFTER A PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT IS FILED
Expert witnesses: after the insurance company has offered you only a portion of your medical bills you are then forced to file a personal injury lawsuit. When you do so, the insurance company then hires their own experts to testify about what your personal injuries are or should have been. This expert usually comes in the form of a doctor who never actually examines you, or if that doctor actually does conduct an examination, spends about 20 minutes examining you before making opinions that contradict all the treating providers. Let’s analyze these “experts”; first and foremost, they are usually the same individual. Secondly, these individuals rarely have an active clinical practice, meaning, an office where they treat patients for the good of societal health. Instead, they make millions of dollars repeatedly testifying in personal injury lawsuit trials for insurance companies. In Northern California there is a certain radiologist who has been testifying in personal injury lawsuit cases on behalf of insurance companies for well over 25 years. Typical testimony from this person is that the injured person is not injured to the extent claimed or if so, the personal injuries were not caused by the subject accident. His work in Med Legal has earned him what many would consider to be a fortune. How much you ask? Difficult to state as this expert has testified in deposition that his accountant (who also acts as his attorney) advises him to shred his 1099 forms. One would wonder why that would be necessary. And this is the individual the insurance companies runs to in order to get their opinion.
PEOPLE WILL OFTENTIMES SIMPLY GIVE UP THE FIGHT, OR CHOOSE NOT TO FIGHT, THE INSURANCE COMPANY SIMPLY BECAUSE IT TAKES TOO LONG OR IT IS TOO BIG OF A HASSLE
You were stopped at a red light and were rear ended. Your car was damaged and you sustained injury. Seems very straightforward, very simple. You are about to embark on a journey that is anything but. Right, wrong or otherwise, insurance companies will do what they wish until forced to do the right thing. You have to force them. They will engage in economic warfare (making it extremely expensive to pursue a claim that may not have high value), and time consuming. Many people want to just give up because it just takes too long or is too big of a hassle. This is a win for insurance company. You have to be willing to pursue the right result and to get that right result, you will most likely need the experience and effort of a personal injury attorney dedicated to the individual.