Insurance Company Doctors-The Damage They Cause To Your Case
May 15, 2023
There was a very interesting article I read in the FCDR dated Monday May 1, 2023.
The article interviewed a few very successful lawyers who represent injured people in automobile accidents in Georgia.
There have been several articles published recently stating Georgia is a “judicial hellhole and a thermonuclear corporate verdict hotspot.” These comments resulted from millions of dollars in high jury verdicts in Georgia. Much higher than in other states.
Mike Rafi, one of the lawyers interviewed for this article, insists that these large outcomes “do not happen if the defense teams admit negligence from the start of the case, and do NOT hire causation experts from their go-to roster of doctors willing to testify to virtually anything.”
While in my law practice, I do not do jury work, I do experience the effects of terrible bad doctor syndrome (which Mr. Rafi addresses) in the workers’ compensation field of law.
Doctors make thousands of dollars by providing a one-time examination at the insurance adjuster’s request. Or, if the case is advanced further, the insurance lawyer makes that decision to hire the defense doctor.
Georgia law does not allow any injured worker clients to sue an insurance doctor for his or her one time “independent” opinion. That is because they are not treating but only giving their opinion. The chosen doctor can virtually say what they want to say without consequences and their opinion hurts my client’s cases horribly. It then gives the insurance company and their lawyer an excuse to try and drive the value of my client’s claim downward.
What angers me greatly is how the report of an independent radiologist reading an MRI of my client’s low back can be read totally differently by a hand-picked insurance doctor. One can only hope that the trier of fact, and for me that is an Administrative Law Judge at the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, will see through the lying, truth shading and de-emphasizing done by the insurance.
In so many of my litigated cases now, I am fighting over which doctor is right to treat, which doctor is telling the truth and which doctor should be believed.
And I am reminded in every hard-fought case, where I present the highest and best medical evidence to the Judge, that the insurance company doctor did their job well by sowing doubt and possible disbelief with their damaging and solacious testimony that stretches or outright ignores the truth.
I must say that most of my colleagues, when faced with such a standoff, will give up, take the low road and do not try their hardest to obtain the absolute best medical evidence to present to the Judge. I will respectfully state that I pursue the truth and am NOT persuaded by the go-to roster of insurance doctors who are well paid advocates for the insurance companies. While these doctors perform in their well-paid jobs of providing contrary medical testimonies, (their fees can run up to $3,500 per evaluation and report) their careers do not last long. And when they finally decide to provide truthful medical testimony, their credibility has already disintegrated. And the people they have hurt with less than truthful medical testimony, well, they remain the casualty of the highly unbalanced workers’ compensation legal system.
I would like to hear from you regarding your experience with these go-to doctors used by all insurance companies. Call me.