Where Have All The Lawyers Gone?There are lots of stereotypes regarding lawyers. They're thought of as ambulance chasers who will do anything to get a case. They're thought of as money hungry types who will do anything for a buck. They're even thought of as sleazy types who will twist events around to make an otherwise "innocent" person decide to file a lawsuit they would never have thought to file otherwise.
So, if all of that is true, then why can't I find a lawyer to take my case?
For the past year, I have been searching for a mal-practice attorney to handle a misdiagnosis case. For you see, I was misdiagnosed as having a herniated disk when I actually have a broken vertebra in the L5 vertebra. I was diagnosed correctly by the initial hospital, after an X-Ray showed a break in the bone. But my doctor ignored that, and did tests of his own (of which he never showed me the results) and told me I had in fact suffered a herniated disc. Who was I to argue? He was my doctor, so I took his word for it.
So for two years, I even underwent two rounds of physical therapy that did more harm than good, and a round of hormone therapy designed to help the "herniated disc".
But when I returned to the emergency room two years later, a simple X-Ray showed that I STILL had a broken vertebrae, and I NEVER had a herniated disc.
Since then, I've gotten hold of a copy of one of my old doctor's MRI tests which clearly states that there was no herniated disk, and I have a copy of an X-Ray that shows the break in the L5. The doctor that treated me for those two years ignored both the X-Ray and his OWN tests. The result is that the break has gotten more severe, and has now caused additional damage to the nerves in my spine.
Sounds like a pretty clear-cut case of malpractice, doesn't it?
So why then can't I find a lawyer that will return my calls, or do the leg work necessary to build a case against the doctor? They want me to do the legwork, gathering the rest of the hospital and doctor reports. But hello! I have a broken back! How am I to do this? Where are the attorneys that will do subpoenas to garner my medical records to see that I was misdiagnosed and treated for the wrong thing?
I have had other attorneys tell me what a great case I have, and to give them a week to draw up the complaint. Then they disappear, and stop returning my calls. Where are the malpractice attorneys that will return phone calls, or even make home appointments?
I even had one attorney repeatedly postpone our initial meeting, and then decide he didn't want to represent me. No explanation given. He never even heard what the case was about! Just decided not to represent me.
So here I am, without the money or the means to go get the rest of the records from that doctor. And I don't have any lawyer that is willing to call me back, work with me, or subpoena those records.
You would think that living in a big city, there would be lawyers just beating down my door with promises of a lawsuit. But no! Every day I have to dig out the phone book and try to call another name, which often times leads them into trying to get me into their offices even when they advertise that they make home appointments.
It used to be that lawyers cared about the injured person, but today, unless you have died, taken the wrong medicine, or had an unnecessary operation, they don't want to talk to you. I have called every lawyer in Chicago that handles misdiagnosis cases and none of them want to work. They want me to work for them. I have never had a lawyer in all my life want a patient to do the work of provide them with the evidence. That's what they get their 25-40% for! I'm sure that the lawyer in "Philadelphia" (with Tom Hanks) would never have asked his client to provide the medical records.
What has happened to the Law Practices of today? Where are those "money-hungry Ambulance Chasers" when we need them?
Published on September 22, 2006 in