Virginia lawyers who refer car accident victims to doctors are doing a tremendous disservice to their clients, says Virginia accident attorney Ben Glass.
A recent Federal Court decision highlights the potential danger inherent when a lawyer refers a car accident victim to a doctor. In the view of personal injury attorney Ben Glass, this can be the kiss of death to your case.
It certainly didn't help Laura Perkins in her case agains the United States for the alleged negligence of one of its drivers.
Perkins was injured and her attorney referred her to a physician, Harold Cloud, M.D. The court decision excluding Dr. Cloud from testifying at her case revolves around a particular federal court rule about expert reports. But what is striking is that, according to the official court ruling, the referring lawyer had paid Dr. Cloud over a $250,000 for treatment rendered to the lawyer's clients.
Here's what accident victims need to know about that: What do you think the jury believes when it is revealed at court that the doctor your lawyer referred you to has been paid that much money for years of care he provided to referals?
Do you think that, just maybe, the defense will call into question this doctor's impartiality? Now, we dont' know what exactly was told to Ms. Perkins but, in my view, if a lawyer is going to refer a client to a particular doctor then the client must be advised that :
1. some judges have called a lawyer to doctor referal the kiss of death to a case
2. the lawyer has made referals to the same doctor over the years and that this might be raised as a credibility issue at trial.
Our advice is clear: if your lawyer tries to steer you to certain doctors for routine accident care, do not go to that doctor. As the client, you have the right to know about these relationships before your case is wrecked.
You can read the entire federal court virginia accident case here.
If you want to learn more about personal injury cases in Virginia, you can download a FREE copy of my book 5 Deadly Sins that can Wreck Your Injury Claim from my website. You can also call (703) 584-7277 to schedule a phone appointment.