Monday, September 17, 2012

How Legal Consultation is Helpful

   This weekend's Anchorage Daily News contained an article about a young man involved in a serious motor vehicle accident that resulted in catastrophic injuries in a situation in which the responsible driver most likely had minimal insurance.  See  In cases in which the responsible driver has inadequate insurance, clients ask what possible help a lawyer can be.  Here are some of the steps a lawyer will take to try and help the injured person.

1.  Investigate the existence of other Insurance policies that could potentially provide coverage for the injuries and losses.
2.  Recover the available insurance of the responsible driver.
3.  Investigate the potential responsibilities of persons other than the driver.
4.  Assist in filing an Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Claim under the insurance of the injured person..
5.  Investigate the possibility of additional Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist insurance coverage.
6.  Negotiate discounts and forgiveness of liens of medical providers, health insurers, Medicare and Medicaid.

Of course, depending on the specific facts, there may be other issues.   In catastrophic accidents, it is even more important to play your hand smartly.  See

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Predictability of "Independent" Medical Examinations Requested by Insurers

   Idealists believe that litigation is about the search for truth.  The reality can be very different.

    I just received the report of a supposedly independent medical examination performed by a physician routinely requested by insurers and defense counsel.  This particular physicians is a part owner of the agency that schedules the medical examinations and earns approximately $200,000 annually above and beyond the income of his active medical practice for performing these examinations and preparing these reports.

   My client was injured in a motor vehicle accident and, while she largely recovered, has had some ongoing specific pain issues.  The physician's conclusion was that she had experienced a cervical strain that healed within 3 months.

    I see this conclusion regularly from physicians regularly doing business for insurance companies.  It always raises questions in my mind as to whether the physician has ever seen or experienced a patient with pain issues more than 3 months following an accident and, if so, whether the physician tells the patient that his injuries are healed, and, whether the physician continues to provide treatment for this imaginary injury.

   With respect to this particular physician, he is noteworthy for a survey of his examinations of workers' compensation claimants in which out of 20 claimants, he disagreed with the treating physician 19 times.  Sometimes you see a pattern.

   You have to play your cards smartly.  See