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Legal Personal Injury Myth of the Day: It Doesn’t Matter Who You Hire for a Lawyer

17 comments

During the month of August, I am addressing myths that we hear from clients throughout their cases. Kind of my own legal myth busters. Today’s myth is:

It doesn’t matter who you hire for a lawyer:

Like anything else, it’s a job and there are lawyers who do this type of work and those who dabble. There are some who try cases and those who never go to court. There are those who have the resources to spend the money and time needed and those who don’t. There are those with the staff to make sure you get the attention you need and those who don’t.

These questions are not intended to replace a consultation with an attorney, nor do they take into consideration facts that may differ about your particular case. Here at the Legal Examiner, we have experienced attorneys who can deal with your individual questions and best help you with your case. Feel free to get the help you need by contacting one of us.

17 Comments

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  1. jc says:
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    Yes, Mike, I totally agree with this post. There are lawyers who handle medical malpractice cases and know what the hell they are doing and there are lawyers who don’t know what the hell they are doing.
    Unfortunately, most lawyers who handle medical malpractice cases do not know what the heck they are doing. This is reflected in the 80% failure rate that medical malpractice attorneys have at trial.

  2. Mike Bryant says:
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    I see we are trolling again tonight Dr Cox, so how is the apology letter to the family you lied to going? With the Lawyers that know what they are doing do you consult and tell the insurance company to pay or do you participate in the continued cover up?
    We have been over the numbers with you so many times, that it is amazing that you continue to make these faulty statements.
    Your comment really isn’t on point with my blog, but never bothers you does it.

  3. jc says:
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    Actually Mike, I don’t tell my colleagues to settle cases, because most of them are frivolous and get dismissed. You are correct in that we have been over the numbers many many times and it still shows that plaintiff attorneys lose at least 80% of malpractice cases that go to trial — a failure rate unheard of anywhere in American Industry. Would you fly on an airline that crashed and burned 80% of the time – -would you drive in a car that blew up 80% of the time. Yet malpractice plaintiff attorneys lose at least 80% of the time that they take a malpractice case to court. Yet I never hear the American Bar Association or the trial lawyers ever look in the mirror and say, “Maybe we need to do a better job!” Yet plaintiff attorneys like Mike Bryant are the first people out there complaining about doctors or insurance companies or private industry if there is a mistake or problem. When has Mike Bryant ever said that the American Bar Association needs to institute some guidelines for training of lawyers in specific areas of the law, such as malpractice law. Maybe there should be a required training period for young lawyers – -like there is for doctors. You know, you gotta train for 4 years to be a general surgeon and two more years to be a cardiovascular surgeon –you don’t just walk out of medical school and do heart surgery the next day, like lawyers can do after they pass the bar examination.

  4. Mike Bryant says:
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    OH boy trolling early are we Dr Cox. The ABA is the wrong group and has a bunch of defense lawyers that make a bunch of money “helping” defend the cases.

    That number is so inaccurate and compared to the cases hidden ( like the one you were involved in) and those that are settled quickly/early has no bases in reality. What was it a friend of a friend in Pennsylvania that told you that? You know that and continue to spout the same stuff all the time.

    As for me pointing out problems. I wish you were the first one to complain when there is a problem with doctors. Isn’t that where people get killed?

    Yawn.

    pS- So did you write the letter to the family you lied to yet?

  5. jc says:
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    You know that I am winning with Mike Bryant when he attacks me personally. Mike, the 80% failure rate of plaintiffs attorneys at trial is from multiple years of Pennsylvania malpractice court statistics and our malpractice attorney says he has similar stats as does Ohio. Very few med mal cases settle in my medical group. I would like to get hard statistics on settlement rate, but I have heard that 70% of cases are dropped with no payment to the plaintiff. As for hidden malpractice cases, I do not really know what you are talking about there. Is that like Obama saving millions of jobs with his stimulus? Is a case where the plaintiff’s attorney misses the statute of limitations because of his own incompetence a hidden case of legal malpractice? Do plaintiff attorneys then write letters to their clients telling them that they missed the statute of limitations in their malpractice case and therefore they should be sued for legal malpractice?

  6. Mike Bryant says:
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    Dr Cox: You define winning by being attacked personally:
    – You’re a troll, you know you are, and you say the same thing whatever blog you are trolling. So hope that adds to your self worth.
    – Count how many times you have attacked me (Remember when you tried to add my name to the court case you were totally wrong about?) or when you were using Mikey?
    – Your numbers are made up and repeating them, over and over and over, has never changed that.
    – Do all lawyers admit mistakes? I doubt it. We know that you didn’t when you so damaged that poor family and , despite my asking, have never told them.
    – You hide who you are (from most people) and I write a blog right out in the open, that you seem to have such an affection for.

    Have one more for me.

    Take care Dr Cox.

  7. jc says:
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    There are statistics like from the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania which I will illustrate and then there are plaintiff attorneys like Mikey Bryant trying to explain away an 80% plaintiff attorney failure rate at trial. So for the last 4 years here are the jury verdicts for medical malpractice in Pennsylvania:
    Year #cases def verdicts percentage
    2012 110 78 70.9%
    2011 163 133 81.6%
    2010 154 131 85.1%
    2009 161 131 81.4%
    So by my reading of the statistics, plaintiff lawyers lose about 80% of the time at trial. Mikey Bryant appears embarrassed by the plaintiff lawyer failure rate of 80% so he says it isn’t so.
    Well Mikey, if you don’t believe these statistics, call up the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania and tell them that they are wrong! By the way Mikey, when you handle a malpractice case do you tell the family that if we go to trial, we will lose 80% of the time?

  8. Mike Bryant says:
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    Wow actual real numbers vs your usual “things I heard from some guy” Let’s look at the numbers and what do we see? Not that many cases going to trial overall. No great crisis. So did the rates go up because of this number of cases? Did rates go up with this many “wins”?

    But you want to use them to to claim some sort of proof as to how bad attorneys are. So are you assuming that these are all cases that should have been won? Are you accepting that the doctor did something wrong?

    I know from having read enough of your rants that you sometimes go with the bad lawyer rant and other times it’s an argument that the cases shouldn’t have been taken to begin with. Well that’s probably true at times, but what special protection do you want to give doctors? How many times have the doctors killed someone and than hide or lied about it? Think it’s more than 150 times a year? You have admitted to doing it ones ( how many were there really?)

    I have always talked about real solutions. A system like Minnesota’s that works: Low claims, low rates, and the best care in the country.

    Your numbers still don’t mean much, when you factor in the total number of claims that are hidden, the total number of claims that are settled, and the reality that these cases are never easy.

    Just looking at the numbers, where do you get the millions of dollars you usually claim that is made in all these cases. Don’t they suggest that we are all going broke? Do you believe that? I would guess as always, you haven’t thought any of this through. Maybe go get another hobby, you aren’t very good at trolling.

  9. jc says:
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    150 cases may not seem like a lot to you but I can assure you that the docs sweated those cases even though they won 80% of the time. Mike you ask whether 80% failure rate means incompetent trial lawyers or lawyers taking frivolous cases. It means both. The importance of 150 trial verdicts is that an impartial jury heard these cases and rendered an independent verdict free from legal or medical biasis. But 95% of cases are settled or dropped before trial so that in Pennsylvania there are approximately 3,000 cases filed each year. With 3-4 docs named per case that means that 9,000-12,000 docs get sued in Pennsylvania each year and every one of them has to contact his malpractice carrier and a defense attorney gets hired to answer the lawsuit and this is reflected in the malpractice rates. An Ob-Gyn can pay 60K-150K per year and influences their practice including the procedures they do, the patients they accept and even the state they practice in. The Pittsburg Post Gazette says that the number of docs in Pennsylvania is decreasing in part due to the malpractice enviornment. You say it is no crisis, but malpractice costs get passed on to the patient in higher doctor fees and defensive medicine. Apparently President Obama does not agree with you as he recently pushed thru Obamacare in response to these escalating medical costs in part brought on by increased malpractice premiums. So what to do? Use the recent Texas tort reform as a template for other states. Allow
    docs to countersue plaintiff attorneys for frivolous litigation. After all, the Bar Associations will not do anything against plaintiff attorneys who file frivolous litigation so let the docs sue them and that will put an end to frivolous litigation. Finally, we need specialized medical courts, get the corrupt judges and plaintiff attorneys out of the system.

  10. Mike Bryant says:
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    Oh Doctor Cox, is it holiday celebration?
    – You know that Texas hasn’t worked. It’s a mess there with reduced care, bad care, and higher costs. Minnesota is such a better place over all Great care, low rates and low number of claims.
    – You are again meshing numbers in a odd way to come up with a crisis that isn’t there. The 95% of turn down are people that have been injured and the case isn’t pursued. There is negligence, but experts ( consultants like yourself) are so expensive that the cases can’t be pursued. Also good doctors save a lot of very bad care out there.
    – Nice to see you are now saying good things about jurors, I can probably expect that to change with your next comment.
    – The numbers are small, the insurance companies are gauging doctors and the doctors all shake your fists at the lawyers. Quit being a tool of the insurance industry. There are a lot more car accidents and somehow that industry does fine.

    See my post earlier about the Bar Association. Your rant should almost be done.

    PS write the note to the family yet?

  11. jc says:
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    Texas tort reform seems to be working just fine. Texas is still in existence and has low taxes and is increasing its population of doctors and decreasing its population of the unemployed and plaintiff attorneys. Sounds great to me! I have written to my state senator in Ohio and urged him to adopt Texas Tort Reform, so that the same positive developments could develop in Ohio.

  12. Mike Bryant says:
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    Texas still exists?????? Now that is a standard, although it was there before all consumers were stripped of their rights under the constitution also.

    This is a great example of why you are so messed up Dr Cox. Pick a state that robbed their consumers and didn’t make things better. A haven for bad doctors (do you fit that profile) Over a plan like Minnesota: Great Doctors, Great Care, Low Rates, and Low Claims.

    In Texas you could have told the family the truth and been protected from taking responsibility.

  13. jc says:
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    Hey, when the population of the unemployed and the population of plaintiff attorneys is decreasing, as it is in Texas, they must be doing something right!

  14. Mike Bryant says:
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    except neither is happening. Yawn

  15. jc says:
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    Here is the thing. Malpractice insurance rates are based on legal exposure. Some states like Ohio and Illinois allow extensive physician legal exposure. Some, like Texas greatly limit physician legal exposure. This is reflected in malpractice rates.
    I pay 2.5 times more for medical malpractice insurance in Ohio compared to a friend in the same speciality in Texas, for the same coverage and claims experience. Now, malpractice insurance companies in Texas are not 2.5 times better at investing premiums then malpractice companies in Ohio. The only difference between the two states is that Texas has tight malpractice liability requirements and Ohio has loose malpractice liability requirements. Since 80% of claims that go to court are won by the doctor, doesn’t it make sense to tighten up malpractice liability requirements in Ohio to decrease frivolous malpractice litigation?

  16. Mike Bryant says:
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    The rates better be lower in Texas , they stripped the consumer of many constitutional rights. It you eliminated all claims the insurance company would probably give you even a better reduced premium.

    At what cost? What happened to responsibility.

    Wait I’m asking you Dr Cox? The one that hid from his responsibility. Texas is a great place for you. Just not for Americans that live under the constitution.

    Your last point makes no sense, but that has never mattered to you.

  17. jc says:
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    I think that Texas made appropriate tort reforms and I challenge you to give me one instance where “constitutional rights” were sacraficed by this law.
    The only rights I see that were trampled were the right of plaintiff attorneys to maintain million dollar lifestyles. Since you lack understanding statistical logic, I will more carefully explain my last point to you. In this column, we proved that 80% of malpractice suits which go to trial are lost by the plaintiff attorneys. With a loss rate like that, there must be a lot of frivolous litigation. By enacting more stringent laws against filing malpractice litigation, probably the most frivolous litigation would barred from the court house, saving the patient, the doctor, the malpractice insurer and even the plaintiff’s attorney a lot of money. This is a point Mike Bryant and I disagree about – -He says that frivolous litigation never occurrs. I see it in the majority of cases that my colleagues are exposed to. The reaction of the Texas legislature would have been unnecessary if frivolous litigation had not been such a problem in that state. (And in other states as well!)