Margorie, a 68-year-old retired waitress, slipped on a puddle of water in the frozen food aisle while shopping with her husband.
She contends Vons failed to clean frozen food that thawed onto the floor. Defendant Vons argues that they did not have reasonable time to clean the aisle before she slipped.
Following the accident, Margorie claimed she suffered extensive neck and back pain. Her DC referred her to an orthopedist, who agreed with the DC, that the accident caused a serious disc herniation with radiculopathy. The disc injury exacerbated the pre-existing degeneration at C4/5, which ultimately caused her to have a cervical fusion.
Vons entered sub rosa video evidence that Margorie “misrepresented” her limitations when caring for her grandchildren. The video showed Margorie was quite active with her grandchildren.
However, Margorie argues that her injuries limited her mobility and ability to care for her grandchildren because she also suffered a partial rotator cuff tear.
The jury awarded Marjorie $661,712. Vons offered $500,000.
LA Superior Court, February 4, 2020. Hon. Michele E. Flurer presiding.
Cutting Your Fees
When meeting with a DC recently, I heard a familiar tale. “I did good work, I billed reasonably, and now the attorney is demanding that I take a 70% cut while they get their full fee.”
This story is as familiar as it is unethical. This law firm actually had the audacity to show all of the medical providers the “pro rata” share they were being asked to accept on the same form that they showed the attorney taking a 40% fee on a $30,000 settlement with $28,000 in meds.
Without knowing the circumstances, we can’t know why this attorney took such a bad settlement offer or, if it is the policy limit, why the attorney allowed the medical bills to get so high. We do know, however, that asking a chiropractor to take a 70% cut while the attorney enjoys their full fee is wrong and the fault lies squarely with the attorney.
What should this DC do? Go to ShawnSteel.com/for-doctors and click on PI Lien Collection Kit. This will provide the steps to get your lien paid and, if need be, file a small claims lawsuit against the attorney for breach of contract (the signed lien). If this sounds like a lot of work only to recover an additional $2,000, it is -- but standing up for your work and your practice is always worthwhile and attorneys will eventually learn that they can’t mismanage cases and expect everyone else to take the hit for their mistakes.
Below is a copy of the settlement form.
How to cut your PI fees? OR is that a stupid question?
My approach is simple: Pro-DC attorneys should rarely call you to cut your fees.
If you like your patient and the attorney, then consider Gary Lewkovich’s approach. Any attorney who wants to shave your fees is hurting you and your family.
Dr. Lewkovich argues you should never blindly accept the attorney’s reductions, and offers a form!
There are only 11 questions that attorneys must answer for you to even consider a fee reduction.
My belief is any lawyer who wants to cut your fee must begin the discussion that he/she cuts his/her fee first by the same percentage.