• IME doctors MAY NOT be independentIME doctors MAY NOT be independent

Are independent medical examiners hired by a disability insurance company truly independent?

Let’s talk a little bit about the bias of these particular so-called independent medical examiners. I think we have seen through our cases of litigation, through the ERISA appeals and information that we have obtained, after seeing hundreds of disability cases that these doctors are not really independent doctors, they are doctors who are paid to say whatever the disability insurance company wants them to say. So in anticipation of today I did some research of cases that we had as well as other cases that have been around the country and I came across stuff that you guys will probably find interesting.

For example, there was a doctor who was trained at Harvard, he is actually a psychiatrist named Steven Garsen and during a four year period he was paid over 900,000 dollars for solely conducting independent medical exams for insurance companies. And that was only a portion of his income. That’s $900,000. Of that, in 2006, $250,000 of that money was paid to him from Prudential Insurance Company.

Another doctor, in a recent federal case, Dr. Amy Hopkins was paid $493,832 over a three year period just to do insurance paper reviews, these independent medical reviews and paper reviews for the insurance companies. So in one case regarding Dr. Hopkins, the court specifically said that Dr. Hopkins would use a pick and choose approach that ignored evidence that completely mischaracterized the treating physician’s notes in order to deny a claim. So the companies do do this and tend to go to the same doctors but they can’t necessarily pull the role over the judge’s eyes or over jury’s eyes. So one of the things we always try to do in our cases is get this information and get it to the courts. Because if you can’t get it, then you can never be able to expose the bias of the company.

And in a case we just handled actually out of Hawaii, we got evidence to show that the one doctor got paid just in one year $165,000 from Prudential Insurance Company and then when we looked him up even further we saw that he had been getting over several years in a row $100,000 in payments. So you can find out all of these things through a discovery process, through reading other cases around the country and try to find this information which will be very valuable.

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FAQ

Do you work in my state?

Yes. We are a national disability insurance law firm that is available to represent you regardless of where you live in the United States. We have partner lawyers in every state and we have filed lawsuits in most federal courts nationwide. Our disability lawyers represent disability claimants at all stages of a claim for disability insurance benefits. There is nothing that our lawyers have not seen in the disability insurance world.

What are your fees?

Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

Do I have to come to your office to work with your law firm?

No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via telephone, e-mail, fax, GoToMeeting.com sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

How can I contact you?

When you call us during normal business hours you will immediately speak with a disability attorney. We can be reached at 800-682-8331 or by email. Lawyer and staff must return all client calls same day. Client emails are usually replied to within the same business day and seem to be the preferred and most efficient method of communication for most clients.

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