College Feed

Acupuncture Today
September, 2001, Vol. 02, Issue 09
Share |

The Trouble with Trial Lawyers, Part III

By Shawn Steel, JD

What Is A Fair Way to Compromise My Lien? What Is A Fair Way to Compromise My Doctor's Lien?

There is nothing in the lien contract that requires a doctor to reduce his fee if there is a poor settlement.

You must like the patient and the lawyer for you to even think about a reduction of your fee. However, if you sincerely believe your patient got a raw deal, you may wish to consider a reasonable discounting of your fees. We suggest the following rules to make sure your clinic is not being taken advantage of.

  1. Never make an agreement with an attorney about reducing your fees on the phone until you have proof from that attorney as to how much the case really settled for in writing. Demand a copy of the release agreement or the check.
  2. Never make an agreement about how much to reduce your bill unless you are given a copy of the client settlement statement. All trial lawyers have to produce an income and expense account to their client for the client's written approval. Every penny must be accounted for. That includes all payments to all health care providers. If the lawyer wants to cut your fee, you should know what the other doctors are getting paid as well. If the lawyer says that the statement is a privileged document and he cannot give it to you, he is not telling the truth. If the lawyer refuses to give you a copy of the client settlement statement, he may be intending to deceive you.
  3. When you receive a client settlement statement, make it a mandatory condition that if your fee is being reduced, the lawyer must match your fee reduction by the exact same percentage. That would also include all other health care providers, including ambulance service, emergency service or any specialists involved. You will quickly see that if everyone participates in a fee reduction, less of your fee will be taken away.

We believe these are easy steps to follow. They have been proven effective and take a minimal amount of time and money. Doctors who employ a few good habits in protecting their personal injury patients will practice much longer and much more enjoyably.

Click here for more information about Shawn Steel, JD.


Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreement
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.
comments powered by Disqus
Get the Latest News FASTER - View Digital Editions Now!
To suggest a poll question
please email

AT News Update
e-mail newsletter Subscribe Today

AT Deals & Events
e-mail newsletter Subscribe Today