How do you know when a personal injury firm is a "mill"?

You are probably aware that not all personal injury firms are alike. Many are straightforward, doing their very best to obtain rightful compensation for injured clients.

But - there is another kind of firm, whose practice is essentially fraudulent. They are at the center of a conspiracy to jack up settlements, and keeping most of the settlement money themselves. The last thing seriously injured people with real-life financial stress need is a scheming lawyer hooked up with a scheming doctor. Their interests are never the same as yours.

This is how insurance mills work:

  • A law firm is the hub of the conspiracy, seeking giant insurance settlements.
  • A doctor or hospital seeks to pocket a big portion of that insurance money.
  • A patient who colludes with the conspiracy, whether knowingly or not.

How bad are these mills?

Some hire agents to snoop around emergency rooms in search of injured parties. Some firms go so far as to stage fake accidents that they can sue insurance companies for.

This is the classic flimflam mill. These people are really con men. If you think you will share fairly in the settlement - because it was your body that was injured in the crash or fall - think again. They will take the dollars, and you will get the nickels.

There are other kinds of mills to watch out for, as well. They practice various deceptions:

  • They appear to be real, capable, even traditional - but they are fly-by-night operations.
  • You will be told you will be dealing with an experienced or even celebrity lawyer - but you will be immediately shunted to a paralegal.
  • You will think they are local, right here in Memphis - but they are a make-believe firm that doesn't even have an office, just a phone service.
  • You will see them advertise on billboards and TV, and think they are a big deal - but they are just grabbing armloads of cases, and settling them on the cheap.

We wish it were otherwise. We wish all lawyers were honest and doing their utmost for clients. But human nature being what it is, there are cheaters in every profession.

Our advice to you

Think carefully before you choose a lawyer. Appearances can be deceiving. If you get a funny feeling about a lawyer, go with your gut. Find a lawyer who returns your calls, knows your name, and wants the very best for you.

If you see signs you are dealing with a personal injury mill, get out while you can. Call your insurance company. Notify the Tennessee state attorney general. Contact the FBI.

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