When injured in an accident, should I contact a lawyer referral service?

When you get into an accident, would you rather call a lawyer or a non-lawyer? Did you know that non-lawyers can advertise for automobile accident cases? Victims in automobile accident cases must beware of misleading advertisements that are presented in a way that makes a victim believe he or she is calling a lawyer, when in fact they are not. You might hear on the radio at least 15 times a day several different 800 numbers from companies advertising about injuries and car accidents. Some of these advertisements are from lawyers, some are from chiropractors, and some are from business men who are neither doctors nor lawyers. What injured victims do not know is that calling an attorney referral service that are owned by chiropractors and business men is a very bad decision.

Lawyer Referral Services Make Lots of Money Off of Victims

In a capitalist society, every business must generate a profit in order to survive. Lawyer referral services are no different. There are legitimate lawyer referral services that operate how a lawyer referral service should operate. Lawyers from all areas of the profession (personal injury, real estate, tax, probate, immigration, criminal, commercial litigation, contract, family, civil rights, etc. etc.) pay a monthly fee to be included in their network. The lawyer referral service does a background check to make sure that the lawyers in their network are qualified lawyers. When a person calls the lawyer referral service, the referral service refers them to an attorney who suits their needs. This is how all lawyer referral services should be. But it is not. There is another type of lawyer referral service that is rapidly growing in South Florida and the rest of the nation. And this lawyer referral service is a referral service that does not charge attorneys any money nor do any background check into the quality of the lawyers they are referring cases to.

The two main questions are:
1. How do these lawyer referral services get paid?
2. Why do these lawyer referral services want car accident cases so badly?

Lawyer referral services that only specialize in accident and injuries are salivating at the fact that the victim’s own car insurance will pay up to $10,000 of medical benefits to them under what is known as Personal Injury Protection Insurance (PIP). Their advertisements are stated in a way that an unsuspecting victim in an automobile accident believes that he or she is the one who receives $10,000 in cash for themselves. In actuality, very little money is ever given, if at all, to the victim from the PIP insurance. You might hear advertisements that say something along the lines of “if you are injured in an accident, you may be entitled to $10,000 in injury and lost wage benefits.” In essence what they are really saying is, “if you are injured in an accident, the victim’s car insurance will pay me (the doctor) $10,000 in injury benefits.”

If you missed that, you better read that last sentence again. The victim’s own car insurance is how these types of lawyer referral services get paid. The payouts come after the victim treats at the medical clinics associated with the lawyer referral service. They want car accident cases so badly because each car accident case is potentially $10,000 in insurance payments to them. If they get 10 car accident cases in a week they could generate up to $100,000 in insurance payouts for that week alone! If they get 1,000 PIP cases they could generate up to ten million dollars. Because they get paid so much money from the victim’s own insurance company, they don’t need lawyers to pay to be a part of the lawyer referral service. The lawyer gets into the network of the lawyer referral service (and receives referrals from the lawyer referral service) only when he or she also sends a car accident case to the lawyer referral service. It doesn’t matter if the lawyer is a bad lawyer, a good lawyer, or even a lawyer that specializes in personal injury, if he or she sends a case to the lawyer referral service, they will in turn get referrals back. Sounds pretty crazy right?

Insurance Companies Have Been Known to Pay Lower Settlements When Victims Treat at Clinics That Receive Referrals from Lawyer Referral Services

Because these lawyer referral services generate so many cases for their doctors, insurance companies have been known to pay claims at a lower amount than normal. These doctors that receive referrals from lawyer referral services typically put most patients through the same treatment regimens. Since most patients get virtually the exact same care on every accident case, the medical reports look almost identical (with the exception of the names, home addresses, home telephone numbers etc. etc.). After treatment is done, it is the lawyer’s job to take the medical records and negotiate a settlement with the insurance company for injuries. When the lawyer presents medical records that use similar language on each medical report from past client’s at the same clinics, insurance companies know immediately that they are from lawyer referral services. Insurance companies hate these lawyer referral services and as a result often times pay substantially less than what the case was worth.

If you are injured in an automobile accident, call a lawyer, not a lawyer referral service. Any company that promises you $10,000 in injury benefits is only promising that your insurance company will pay them $10,000. Don’t be fooled. Only a lawyer can win you money for your injuries. Call the experienced car accident attorneys at Dell & Schaefer for a free consultation, we do not charge a fee or costs unless we recover money for you.

Share your comments with us. Our lawyers will respond to your comments.

Click here or call us at (800) 383-7853 to schedule an appointment at one of our office locations.

We are available to meet with you at your home, business, or the hospital.

Free telephone consultations are always available.