Thursday, October 25, 2018

Defense Doctor and Insurance

I was cross examining a doctor for the defense yesterday and asked her what percentage of cases she does for the Defense versus Plaintiffs.  She told me she doesn't keep track of it.  How convenient!  She did admit that she does most of her work for insurance companies.  I already knew that.

After the deposition the lawyer for the other side wanted to take out the testimony about the insurance company.  The law doesn't allow me to keep in the fact there is insurance so I agreed.  The theory behind it is that a jury knows there is insurance than a jury is inclined to award higher damages.  The reality is that insurance is the elephant in the room that nobody talks about and everyone knows is there.  From my perspective the lawyer on the other side is going to allege that this evil plaintiff's lawyer is out for gold and that his poor penniless client can't afford it.  That isn't true.  In this case the other side has $300,000.00 in coverage and won't pay my client for her injuries.  They would rather make her jump through hoops and try the case to a jury. 

The doctor also told me that she looked at photos of my clients damage to determine my client wasn't hurt.  I asked her if the lawyer for the defense send her photos of his clients damage for her assessment.  She told me no.  I asked her if taking a look at photos of the defendant's car would have made a difference in her evaluation.  She told me it wouldn't make a difference because she isn't a accident reconstructionist.  I didn't push it because I found it funny she looked at one photo and said my client wasn't hurt, but that looking at another photo (which shows more damage) wouldn't help in her evaluation.  Juries are smart.  They will figure it out.  This was also a catapult crash meaning the defendant rear ended a vehicle and slammed it into my client's vehicle.  I asked the doctor how many cars were involved in the crash.  She didn't know.  I wonder if the defense lawyer will pay her another 2K to testify in the future :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Earlier this month I met with a gentleman that was stopped waiting to take a left turn onto a main roadway.  To his left was a large bush.  In front of him was another vehicle facing the opposite direction at a stop sign.  The other vehicle "waived" him to take his left turn indicating it was safe.  It was not safe.  Coming the opposite direction was a vehicle that, according to the gentleman, had veered around a garbage bag in the middle of the street (you can't make this stuff up).  According to the police report the other driver was in his correct lane. Crash ensued.

I can't tell you how many times someone has come to my office wanting to sue the person that waive them through.  A really bad fractured ankle case comes to mind where my client was the victim of the incorrect waiving.  The first issue is that nobody ever gets the information on the person that waived them through.  They aren't listed on police reports because they leave the scene.  That, plus who is going to admit that they were wrong and waived someone into traffic?  That is the first problem.  The second problem is that you can't rely on a third party to make driving decisions for you.  As such, suing them would be a waste of time. 

The other thought this potential client had was suing the government for failing to make the bush trimmed.  The problem here is that suing people is expensive so you must be really hurt.  Suing the government is very expensive and there is the issue of sovereign immunity.  In this circumstance the damages would not have offset the costs of litigation thus making it a bad situation for the potential client.