Earlier this week I was contacted by a reader who discussed his recent experience with State Farm Insurance in an arbitration proceeding. You can read his comments, as well as another reader’s here. First, let me express my condolences for the bad outcome in your case. Please understand that it is difficult to respond specifically without having read your entire file. Dr. Lees-Haley and Dr. Fox are well known to me. I draw your attention to a recent article authored by Dorothy Sims, Esq. which was recently published in Brain Injury Professional, The Official Publication of the North American Brain Injury Society. In Ms. Sims article, quoting from a recent deposition of Dr. Lees-Haley, she quotes him as conceding:
1.His practice is “almost all defense.” His practice is so reliant upon defense referrals his template, or prewritten report, already indicates the defense hired him before he even receives the referral. 2.He treats no patients. 3.By the time the case in question comes to trial, his charges could exceed $25,000.00.
In a previous article I wrote some years ago entitled “Anticipating the Defense’s” I stressed the need for neurolawyers to be well versed concerning defense experts. As Ms. Sims points out, many of these defense experts come with preconceived biases and are hired because the insurance industry knows what it is getting before the referral is made. In your post, you indicate that Dr. Fox wrote a report without having ever evaluated you. I draw your attention to the ethics of the American Psychological Association which discusses this behavior. In retaining an attorney to represent someone who has an acquired traumatic brain injury, it is imperative to hire an attorney who has great experience in handling these types of cases. Finally, while you are correct that I do not practice law in the state of California, I am always happy to speak with individuals with acquired traumatic brain injury regardless of their location. If I cannot help them, I am more than willing to make an appropriate referral to an attorney who can. Thank you all for sharing you stories and questions. Please keep them coming!