Six months ago:
Friend: I was in an accident and the insurance company is being real nice. They’ve offered to pay my medical bills and give me a little something for pain and suffering.
Me: Why don’t I take a look at it and I’ll see if I can increase their offer. If it takes some work, my firm will cut our fee and try and get more money in your pocket.
Five months ago:
Friend: What’s going on?
Me: They’ve increased the offer and I recommend you accept it. Once we get the check in, I’ll negotiate with the medical providers and the lien holders. Any money we save goes in your pocket.
Friend: Ok, I trust you. Let’s do it.
Three months ago:
Friend: Why is this taking so long?
Me: The lienholders aren’t responding. Be patient. It’ll be worth it, I promise.
Friend: Sure doesn’t seem like it.
Friend: Seriously, what the f*** is going on here?
Me: I’m beating your doctor’s billing office into submission. I think we are making some progress.
Friend: I just want this over with. I’ll pay the medical bills myself.
Me: You don’t want to do that. Trust me.
Friend: I hesitate to ask, but can you give me an update?
Me: Good news! Everything has been resolved. I was able to negotiate with everyone so that your outstanding medical bills were paid for less than thirty cents on the dollar. The best news is you are getting more than five times the money in your pocket from their “final” offer to you. And that’s after paying me.
Me: And the money is tax-free.
It may take a little time, but us lawyers may actually do a good thing every now and again for our clients.