Friday, February 8, 2019

You and the Law: When lawyers refuse to pay doctor's bill - Hanford Sentinel

Today’s story will be of special interest to two groups of readers who are linked together by what is known as a lien, which I’ll explain in a moment. They are:

(1) People who were injured in an auto accident who lack good health insurance or adequate amounts of auto medical payments coverage but need treatment from a chiropractor, MD or physical therapist. They hire an attorney to file an insurance claim against the responsible party.

(2) Chiropractors, MD’s or physical therapists who provide treatment, and, as Los Angeles based attorney Shawn Steel adds, “Contractually–on a lien basis--agreeing to wait for payment of their services when the case is settled.”

An Enforceable Contract

Specializing in personal injury cases and representing chiropractors for over 35 years, Steel explains that a lien, “Is a binding, enforceable, written contract signed by the patient, attorney and health care provider requiring bills to be paid from the proceeds of settlement prior to the individual receiving any funds.”

But he was quick to point out, “That’s how it is supposed to work - it is what the law requires, but in my experience, over 3/4 of lawyers who handle personal cases on a lien basis flagrantly refuse to honor the lien and far too many health care professionals just don’t know what to do when they are stiffed, or their bill is cut to shreds.”

The recent example of our client, “Dr. S” is typical.

“My Polite Requests to Pay Our Bill was Ignored!”

I have a soft spot in my heart for chiropractors and respect their abilities. Years ago, a chiropractor delivered me from the worst and most painful stiff neck imaginable. I became a believer and we referred our auto accident clients to him for years, always receiving positive feedback. So, when a chiropractor is badly dealt with by a lawyer, I take that personally and that’s what happened to Dr. S.

His lien was signed by both a local attorney and the patient, but when the case was settled the lawyer refused to payment of the chiropractor’s bill. “We placed call after call to the lawyer’s office and did not even receive the courtesy of a return phone call,” Dr. S. explained, not only frustrated, but hurt.

I phoned my colleague and gave him 48 hours to have a check delivered to the chiro’s office or find himself in court.

Needless to say, the bill was paid at once–in full. But this should not have dragged on for so long, and that is Steel’s message to all health care providers who treat on a lien basis. “Understand your rights and the attorney’s legal obligation,” he underscores.

The Lawyer Is a Fiduciary - Do Not Let anyone Browbeat You Down!

“In all 50 states, the Doctor’s Lien, or Letter of Protection as it is also called in some states, creates a fiduciary relationship making the lawyer trustee of settlement funds for the benefit of the client, the doctor and, finally, the attorney.

“I find repeatedly lawyers insisting that the doctor cut his bill, but the attorney refuses to reduce his when the settlement is not as high as was expected - or that is what the lawyer tells the doctor. In the typical case this is inherently unfair, as the doctor has spent weeks or months in treating the patient, while the lawyer perhaps saw the client once and made two phone calls.

“There is nothing wrong with everyone taking a little less than full payment if the money just isn’t there, but I urge my doctor clients to stand up to strong arm tactics by going through these steps:

–When you get a phone call asking that you cut your bill, ‘Because the settlement was too low and I can only get you $1,000,’reply by stating, “Please send me a copy of the draft, settlement agreement and client’s proposed disbursement.”

“Remember, a lawyer can easily lie on the phone, but will hesitate to do so in writing. You have the legal right to see all of those documents and how funds are to be distributed.”

If that information is not provided, then, Steel recommends:

–Send a demand letter to the lawyer with a 7 day deadline. Attach the lien, your report and bill. In your letter state, ‘I am sure you are familiar with the Rules of Professional Conduct.’

--On the 8th day, file a complaint with the State Bar, send the attorney a copy of it and file your suit in Small Claims Court.

“You will get paid - and, if it goes to court, judges almost always rule in favor of the doctor,” Steel concludes. Shawnstewel.com is his website which I highly recommend.



You and the Law: When lawyers refuse to pay doctor's bill - Hanford Sentinel

Today’s story will be of special interest to two groups of readers who are linked together by what is known as a lien, which I’ll explain in a moment. They are:

(1) People who were injured in an auto accident who lack good health insurance or adequate amounts of auto medical payments coverage but need treatment from a chiropractor, MD or physical therapist. They hire an attorney to file an insurance claim against the responsible party.

(2) Chiropractors, MD’s or physical therapists who provide treatment, and, as Los Angeles based attorney Shawn Steel adds, “Contractually–on a lien basis--agreeing to wait for payment of their services when the case is settled.”

An Enforceable Contract

Specializing in personal injury cases and representing chiropractors for over 35 years, Steel explains that a lien, “Is a binding, enforceable, written contract signed by the patient, attorney and health care provider requiring bills to be paid from the proceeds of settlement prior to the individual receiving any funds.”

But he was quick to point out, “That’s how it is supposed to work - it is what the law requires, but in my experience, over 3/4 of lawyers who handle personal cases on a lien basis flagrantly refuse to honor the lien and far too many health care professionals just don’t know what to do when they are stiffed, or their bill is cut to shreds.”

The recent example of our client, “Dr. S” is typical.

“My Polite Requests to Pay Our Bill was Ignored!”

I have a soft spot in my heart for chiropractors and respect their abilities. Years ago, a chiropractor delivered me from the worst and most painful stiff neck imaginable. I became a believer and we referred our auto accident clients to him for years, always receiving positive feedback. So, when a chiropractor is badly dealt with by a lawyer, I take that personally and that’s what happened to Dr. S.

His lien was signed by both a local attorney and the patient, but when the case was settled the lawyer refused to payment of the chiropractor’s bill. “We placed call after call to the lawyer’s office and did not even receive the courtesy of a return phone call,” Dr. S. explained, not only frustrated, but hurt.

I phoned my colleague and gave him 48 hours to have a check delivered to the chiro’s office or find himself in court.

Needless to say, the bill was paid at once–in full. But this should not have dragged on for so long, and that is Steel’s message to all health care providers who treat on a lien basis. “Understand your rights and the attorney’s legal obligation,” he underscores.

The Lawyer Is a Fiduciary - Do Not Let anyone Browbeat You Down!

“In all 50 states, the Doctor’s Lien, or Letter of Protection as it is also called in some states, creates a fiduciary relationship making the lawyer trustee of settlement funds for the benefit of the client, the doctor and, finally, the attorney.

“I find repeatedly lawyers insisting that the doctor cut his bill, but the attorney refuses to reduce his when the settlement is not as high as was expected - or that is what the lawyer tells the doctor. In the typical case this is inherently unfair, as the doctor has spent weeks or months in treating the patient, while the lawyer perhaps saw the client once and made two phone calls.

“There is nothing wrong with everyone taking a little less than full payment if the money just isn’t there, but I urge my doctor clients to stand up to strong arm tactics by going through these steps:

–When you get a phone call asking that you cut your bill, ‘Because the settlement was too low and I can only get you $1,000,’reply by stating, “Please send me a copy of the draft, settlement agreement and client’s proposed disbursement.”

“Remember, a lawyer can easily lie on the phone, but will hesitate to do so in writing. You have the legal right to see all of those documents and how funds are to be distributed.”

If that information is not provided, then, Steel recommends:

–Send a demand letter to the lawyer with a 7 day deadline. Attach the lien, your report and bill. In your letter state, ‘I am sure you are familiar with the Rules of Professional Conduct.’

--On the 8th day, file a complaint with the State Bar, send the attorney a copy of it and file your suit in Small Claims Court.

“You will get paid - and, if it goes to court, judges almost always rule in favor of the doctor,” Steel concludes. Shawnstewel.com is his website which I highly recommend.



How do I get legal advice without upfront legal costs? - Business MattersBusiness Matters

Practically every area of life requires some form of legal advice; taking up a new job, going through a divorce, planning to write a will, selling a property, these are some of the activities of everyday life that are intertwined in law.

While there might not be a need for legal action, most contracts are written in jargon that only a lawyer could make sense of. The need for legal advice is obviously crucial but lawyers can be costly. Personal injury lawyers are known to only charge when a settlement has been awarded and that is within reach for most people. When you are dealing with other matters where upfront payments apply, does that mean that low-income earners cannot get legal representation? Based on Foyle Legal Perth work accident lawyers, here are some ways of finding legal help.

Government funded programs

Did you know that the government and other agencies employ lawyers to offer free services to the public? Since they are already paid, the client is not asked to pay for any fees. Legal aid programs are great venues to find help when you are faced with tenancy disputes, employment disputes, divorce cases and a whole lot of other social injustice cases. Free legal aids funded programs are however not available to everyone, resources are limited and therefore the criteria is very strict. The first qualification is that the income is below a certain amount.

Pro-bono programs

Pro-bono in legal terms may mean departments within a law firm that offer legal assistance for free or non-profit organizations run by lawyers who offer free services to the community around them. Since some programs are dedicated to specific causes it is often difficult to find a lawyer to offer assistance pro-bono unless it is a higher profile legal cause.

Dial a legal hotline

With the rise in social injustice in many areas of society, the number of law practitioners in relation to the people who need their services is low. Legal hotlines are established to offer advice and direction in pursuit of legal advice. Some hotlines are free to dial but others charge a minimal fee to finance the administrative costs of the program. It is important to know that these services are dependent on what the person with the legal problem tells them – as the legal practitioner is not actually able to review any documents regarding the case the quality of legal advice can be very low.

Take advantage of No win No Fee arrangements

If you have made a personal injury claim such as a workers compensation claim, motor vehicle accident claim, public liability claim, criminal injuries claim or medical negligence claim or any other cases where the outcome of the case is financial compensation then it is common for top personal injury lawyersto takeon these claims on a no win no fee basis.It is standard practice in other areas of law to pay a lawyer a down payment before they take on your case but in Western Australiasome of the top no win no fee lawyersanalyze cases and the most likely to result in a win are handled without a downpayment. Many personal injury lawyers operate this way; depending on the nature of the injuries suffered and the establishment that their client was not the liable party, they will take up a case without asking for upfront fees.

The next time you are in need of legal representation, consider all the above options first before you resign to the fact that your low income is the obstacle to finding legal assistance.




You and the Law: When lawyers refuse to pay doctor's bill - Hanford Sentinel

Today’s story will be of special interest to two groups of readers who are linked together by what is known as a lien, which I’ll explain in a moment. They are:

(1) People who were injured in an auto accident who lack good health insurance or adequate amounts of auto medical payments coverage but need treatment from a chiropractor, MD or physical therapist. They hire an attorney to file an insurance claim against the responsible party.

(2) Chiropractors, MD’s or physical therapists who provide treatment, and, as Los Angeles based attorney Shawn Steel adds, “Contractually–on a lien basis--agreeing to wait for payment of their services when the case is settled.”

An Enforceable Contract

Specializing in personal injury cases and representing chiropractors for over 35 years, Steel explains that a lien, “Is a binding, enforceable, written contract signed by the patient, attorney and health care provider requiring bills to be paid from the proceeds of settlement prior to the individual receiving any funds.”

But he was quick to point out, “That’s how it is supposed to work - it is what the law requires, but in my experience, over 3/4 of lawyers who handle personal cases on a lien basis flagrantly refuse to honor the lien and far too many health care professionals just don’t know what to do when they are stiffed, or their bill is cut to shreds.”

The recent example of our client, “Dr. S” is typical.

“My Polite Requests to Pay Our Bill was Ignored!”

I have a soft spot in my heart for chiropractors and respect their abilities. Years ago, a chiropractor delivered me from the worst and most painful stiff neck imaginable. I became a believer and we referred our auto accident clients to him for years, always receiving positive feedback. So, when a chiropractor is badly dealt with by a lawyer, I take that personally and that’s what happened to Dr. S.

His lien was signed by both a local attorney and the patient, but when the case was settled the lawyer refused to payment of the chiropractor’s bill. “We placed call after call to the lawyer’s office and did not even receive the courtesy of a return phone call,” Dr. S. explained, not only frustrated, but hurt.

I phoned my colleague and gave him 48 hours to have a check delivered to the chiro’s office or find himself in court.

Needless to say, the bill was paid at once–in full. But this should not have dragged on for so long, and that is Steel’s message to all health care providers who treat on a lien basis. “Understand your rights and the attorney’s legal obligation,” he underscores.

The Lawyer Is a Fiduciary - Do Not Let anyone Browbeat You Down!

“In all 50 states, the Doctor’s Lien, or Letter of Protection as it is also called in some states, creates a fiduciary relationship making the lawyer trustee of settlement funds for the benefit of the client, the doctor and, finally, the attorney.

“I find repeatedly lawyers insisting that the doctor cut his bill, but the attorney refuses to reduce his when the settlement is not as high as was expected - or that is what the lawyer tells the doctor. In the typical case this is inherently unfair, as the doctor has spent weeks or months in treating the patient, while the lawyer perhaps saw the client once and made two phone calls.

“There is nothing wrong with everyone taking a little less than full payment if the money just isn’t there, but I urge my doctor clients to stand up to strong arm tactics by going through these steps:

–When you get a phone call asking that you cut your bill, ‘Because the settlement was too low and I can only get you $1,000,’reply by stating, “Please send me a copy of the draft, settlement agreement and client’s proposed disbursement.”

“Remember, a lawyer can easily lie on the phone, but will hesitate to do so in writing. You have the legal right to see all of those documents and how funds are to be distributed.”

If that information is not provided, then, Steel recommends:

–Send a demand letter to the lawyer with a 7 day deadline. Attach the lien, your report and bill. In your letter state, ‘I am sure you are familiar with the Rules of Professional Conduct.’

--On the 8th day, file a complaint with the State Bar, send the attorney a copy of it and file your suit in Small Claims Court.

“You will get paid - and, if it goes to court, judges almost always rule in favor of the doctor,” Steel concludes. Shawnstewel.com is his website which I highly recommend.



Broome County sheriff's deputy crash: Suspect released, faces up to 7 years in prison - Press & Sun-Bulletin

How do I get legal advice without upfront legal costs? - Business MattersBusiness Matters

Practically every area of life requires some form of legal advice; taking up a new job, going through a divorce, planning to write a will, selling a property, these are some of the activities of everyday life that are intertwined in law.

While there might not be a need for legal action, most contracts are written in jargon that only a lawyer could make sense of. The need for legal advice is obviously crucial but lawyers can be costly. Personal injury lawyers are known to only charge when a settlement has been awarded and that is within reach for most people. When you are dealing with other matters where upfront payments apply, does that mean that low-income earners cannot get legal representation? Based on Foyle Legal Perth work accident lawyers, here are some ways of finding legal help.

Government funded programs

Did you know that the government and other agencies employ lawyers to offer free services to the public? Since they are already paid, the client is not asked to pay for any fees. Legal aid programs are great venues to find help when you are faced with tenancy disputes, employment disputes, divorce cases and a whole lot of other social injustice cases. Free legal aids funded programs are however not available to everyone, resources are limited and therefore the criteria is very strict. The first qualification is that the income is below a certain amount.

Pro-bono programs

Pro-bono in legal terms may mean departments within a law firm that offer legal assistance for free or non-profit organizations run by lawyers who offer free services to the community around them. Since some programs are dedicated to specific causes it is often difficult to find a lawyer to offer assistance pro-bono unless it is a higher profile legal cause.

Dial a legal hotline

With the rise in social injustice in many areas of society, the number of law practitioners in relation to the people who need their services is low. Legal hotlines are established to offer advice and direction in pursuit of legal advice. Some hotlines are free to dial but others charge a minimal fee to finance the administrative costs of the program. It is important to know that these services are dependent on what the person with the legal problem tells them – as the legal practitioner is not actually able to review any documents regarding the case the quality of legal advice can be very low.

Take advantage of No win No Fee arrangements

If you have made a personal injury claim such as a workers compensation claim, motor vehicle accident claim, public liability claim, criminal injuries claim or medical negligence claim or any other cases where the outcome of the case is financial compensation then it is common for top personal injury lawyersto takeon these claims on a no win no fee basis.It is standard practice in other areas of law to pay a lawyer a down payment before they take on your case but in Western Australiasome of the top no win no fee lawyersanalyze cases and the most likely to result in a win are handled without a downpayment. Many personal injury lawyers operate this way; depending on the nature of the injuries suffered and the establishment that their client was not the liable party, they will take up a case without asking for upfront fees.

The next time you are in need of legal representation, consider all the above options first before you resign to the fact that your low income is the obstacle to finding legal assistance.




You and the Law: When lawyers refuse to pay doctor's bill - Hanford Sentinel

Today’s story will be of special interest to two groups of readers who are linked together by what is known as a lien, which I’ll explain in a moment. They are:

(1) People who were injured in an auto accident who lack good health insurance or adequate amounts of auto medical payments coverage but need treatment from a chiropractor, MD or physical therapist. They hire an attorney to file an insurance claim against the responsible party.

(2) Chiropractors, MD’s or physical therapists who provide treatment, and, as Los Angeles based attorney Shawn Steel adds, “Contractually–on a lien basis--agreeing to wait for payment of their services when the case is settled.”

An Enforceable Contract

Specializing in personal injury cases and representing chiropractors for over 35 years, Steel explains that a lien, “Is a binding, enforceable, written contract signed by the patient, attorney and health care provider requiring bills to be paid from the proceeds of settlement prior to the individual receiving any funds.”

But he was quick to point out, “That’s how it is supposed to work - it is what the law requires, but in my experience, over 3/4 of lawyers who handle personal cases on a lien basis flagrantly refuse to honor the lien and far too many health care professionals just don’t know what to do when they are stiffed, or their bill is cut to shreds.”

The recent example of our client, “Dr. S” is typical.

“My Polite Requests to Pay Our Bill was Ignored!”

I have a soft spot in my heart for chiropractors and respect their abilities. Years ago, a chiropractor delivered me from the worst and most painful stiff neck imaginable. I became a believer and we referred our auto accident clients to him for years, always receiving positive feedback. So, when a chiropractor is badly dealt with by a lawyer, I take that personally and that’s what happened to Dr. S.

His lien was signed by both a local attorney and the patient, but when the case was settled the lawyer refused to payment of the chiropractor’s bill. “We placed call after call to the lawyer’s office and did not even receive the courtesy of a return phone call,” Dr. S. explained, not only frustrated, but hurt.

I phoned my colleague and gave him 48 hours to have a check delivered to the chiro’s office or find himself in court.

Needless to say, the bill was paid at once–in full. But this should not have dragged on for so long, and that is Steel’s message to all health care providers who treat on a lien basis. “Understand your rights and the attorney’s legal obligation,” he underscores.

The Lawyer Is a Fiduciary - Do Not Let anyone Browbeat You Down!

“In all 50 states, the Doctor’s Lien, or Letter of Protection as it is also called in some states, creates a fiduciary relationship making the lawyer trustee of settlement funds for the benefit of the client, the doctor and, finally, the attorney.

“I find repeatedly lawyers insisting that the doctor cut his bill, but the attorney refuses to reduce his when the settlement is not as high as was expected - or that is what the lawyer tells the doctor. In the typical case this is inherently unfair, as the doctor has spent weeks or months in treating the patient, while the lawyer perhaps saw the client once and made two phone calls.

“There is nothing wrong with everyone taking a little less than full payment if the money just isn’t there, but I urge my doctor clients to stand up to strong arm tactics by going through these steps:

–When you get a phone call asking that you cut your bill, ‘Because the settlement was too low and I can only get you $1,000,’reply by stating, “Please send me a copy of the draft, settlement agreement and client’s proposed disbursement.”

“Remember, a lawyer can easily lie on the phone, but will hesitate to do so in writing. You have the legal right to see all of those documents and how funds are to be distributed.”

If that information is not provided, then, Steel recommends:

–Send a demand letter to the lawyer with a 7 day deadline. Attach the lien, your report and bill. In your letter state, ‘I am sure you are familiar with the Rules of Professional Conduct.’

--On the 8th day, file a complaint with the State Bar, send the attorney a copy of it and file your suit in Small Claims Court.

“You will get paid - and, if it goes to court, judges almost always rule in favor of the doctor,” Steel concludes. Shawnstewel.com is his website which I highly recommend.