A nice, somewhat naive, Illinois woman called me recently. She had hurt her back at her job and had quite the serious injury. What she told me was that she had a lawyer and he never called her back and was rude when he did so she wanted a new firm. That’s a good reason to switch lawyers for sure.
I referred her to an attorney who handles cases in the county where her case is being heard. He then contacted me to let me know something she didn’t share.
When she was first injured, she actually hired the lawyer that I recommended. They filed the case and everything was going great. He then got a call out of the blue telling him that she was switching law firms.
It turns out that the doctor who ran the MRI clinic where her back exam took place decided to talk to her. Now I don’t know if you’ve ever had a MRI, but in most cases you will never actually speak with a doctor. That’s because they don’t actually perform the tests. They just read the results and collect the big bucks.
In this case though, when the doctor was alerted that this woman was hurt on the job, he became very interested in her case. He was so interested that he told her that his friend is the best work comp attorney around and that she should go hire him.
Even though her case was going fine, she agreed to switch firms. She hired the attorney who now doesn’t call her back and was rude to her. The attorney I know of course has no desire to right the ship.
As you can probably guess, it’s a slam dunk guarantee that the MRI owner and the crappy attorney have a quid pro quo going on. They expect each other to send business their way. And if this means interfering with a client who likes their lawyer they don’t care. They aren’t looking out for their patients/clients. They are looking out for themselves.
Maybe this nice woman will find a lawyer willing to be the third attorney on her case. That’s not easy to do because the three law firms would have to split the 20% attorney fee. At some point it becomes not worth it. I don’t think she was doing anything wrong, but not questioning why a random doctor was talking about her work injury has really caused her some problems. Hopefully it all works out in the end.