Ambulance Chasers and Other Predators

Jay Stillman

4 min read

Stillman and Friedland believes in telling you straight out how much your case is worth, then we fight for you to get the settlement you deserve.  As we work until your case is satisfactorily settled, we provide the full range of services you should expect from a law firm.  Sadly, not every healthcare provider or lawyer operates as we do, and should you fall into the hands of unscrupulous “professionals,” you will come up short in both funds and services.

We have been seeing a fair number of people in our offices that come to us after being scammed by ambulance-chasing health care providers and lawyers working in conjunction.  While there are dedicated and competent health care providers, we see quite a few clients who were cheated in medical treatment scams. 

Unscrupulous health care providers are known to “cold call” people who are listed in publicly available police accident reports as “not at fault.”  (If you are not at fault in an accident you may receive a settlement from the other side’s insurance or your uninsured motorist coverage.) The health care providers who are “accident-chasing” offer the prospective victim a “free treatment.”  When the unsuspecting victims come to the clinic, they are often lured into signing up for a lengthy series of expensive unnecessary treatments. 

This lure of free treatment is exactly like a phone or cable company offering you an upgraded package on a free trial basis.  After you have forgotten the “deal,” the freebie expires and the service company starts billing you for the service.  Trying to get out of that “deal” is a major headache.  Once the treatment freebie is gone, and you have been roped into months of treatments, the payment will be sucked out of your insurance settlement.

How is that possible?

The shady health care provider often works in tandem with an equally unscrupulous lawyer who offers to handle the case at a slightly reduced fee.  In reality, the lawyer is really working for the health care provider to ensure that the pricey treatment is paid for in full.  The main goal of the lawyer is to persuade the accident victim to sign over money from the settlement as direct payment to the health care provider.  It is a package deal that benefits them, not you.  Let’s look at how these discounts cost you a lot in time and cash.

Over-priced treatments: As we have detailed in previous posts, your case value is based on a combination of losses as a result of the accident, and an honest professional will evaluate your case fairly and work to get you a fair settlement. If your property damage and injury are both relatively minor, expensive treatments will not make the case more valuable, and may eat up most of your settlement.  The ambulance-chasing lawyers who work with the health care providers are working against your interest when they neglect to tell you this.  

Property damage settlement up to client to handle:  Unlike real full-service lawyers, these scam lawyers do not take care of the property damage claim for you.  You will be stuck making these phone calls and filing papers yourself.  Stillman and Friedland handle our clients’ property claims as a courtesy service.  Our years of experience mean that your property damage case will be handled advantageously and in a hassle-free manner.  

No health insurance accepted: Unscrupulous lawyers and health care providers work together to get the most they can from your settlement.  They will not accept your insurance, insisting that you pay in full out of your settlement.  Part of their representation agreement with you will be that you sign over the full cost of the treatments to be deducted from your final settlement.

When you go to a legitimate health care provider, they treat what is wrong with you, no treatment overkill.  In most cases you also have the option of a second opinion. Your insurance company can see that you have legitimate medical treatment and your coverage will pay for that care.   A professional lawyer will negotiate your medical bills to get you discounts.  The savings can be substantial and benefit you greatly.  Your settlement is based on the full value of medical treatment, not the discounted amount your lawyer negotiates.  The difference is part of your compensation.   

As you can easily see, it pays to use a legitimate lawyer and avoid an unholy partnership between a care provider and a lawyer.  Stillman and Friedland are willing to steer our clients toward good medical treatment providers, but we never have a financial interest in referring clients as patients, nor do we act on behalf of those care providers.

Avoid ambulance chasers offering “free” and discounted service, and instead choose qualified and competent professionals who will act in your best interest.

Our years of experience and proven dedication to our clients mean that you will get the settlement you deserve. 

Stillman and Friedland
Because we care..