Last month, I wrote about GEICO’s efforts to get me to indemnify them from any liens or medical bills after settlement of a car accident case. GEICO’s request just rubs me the wrong way. But I never saw until today any authority for the question of whether a personal injury lawyer is even permitted to do what GEICO was demanding.
Now I do. This Florida Bar Staff opinion analyzes the issue and says lawyers cannot ethically guarantee anything because it is tantamount to guaranteeing payment of medical bills (which lawyers cannot do). The opinion cites a host of jurisdictions that are in accord: Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Wisconsin, New York City, and Illinois.
I don’t know how Bar Counsel in Maryland would rule on this but Maryland has the same law with respect to the scope of financial assistance lawyers can provide to clients so I would expect Maryland to come out similarly.