I am a lawyer not a doctor. Doctors are medical professionals trying to help people get better by diagnosing, treating, and preventing. When we step outside our profession and into another professional arena we know very little about, it can be confusing. No matter how much reality television we watch, it may not carry over to the realities we live in.

In the short time I have been an attorney, it never ceases to make me laugh when I go to a doctor’s deposition. We, as lawyers, have to ask certain questions in certain ways to meet legal thresholds and adhere to the prevailing rules of evidence, which makes those questions sound verbose, obnoxious, and confusing.

  1. "Doctor  ______, is it your opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty that it is more probable than not, that my client’s disc herniation were caused/aggravated/ and/or made worse from the motor vehicle collision/slip and fall/dog bite?"
  2. "Doctor ______, based on your education, observations, and medical treatment of my client, was it medically necessary to send them for physical therapy/diagnostic testing/pain management as a result of the motor vehicle collision/slip and fall/dog bite?"
  3. "Doctor ______, do you have an opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty as to the permanent impairments my client would be assigned under the AMA guidelines?"

It’s important for medical professionals to understand that Plaintiffs have the burden of proving their case by the preponderance of the evidence. The most common example is the tipping of the scales of justice ever so slightly to provide an imbalance that would warrant the "preponderance" part, "more likely than not". (David Swanner of South Carolina Trial Law Blog gives several good examples).

Therefore, medical professionals don’t have to know 100% one way or the other. They just have to give an opinion (based on a reasonable degree of medical certainty) whether an injury or aggravation of a pre-existing injury is "more likely than not"/ "more than a 50% chance"/ "ever so slightly tips the scales" was caused or directly affected by the trauma.

Plus, know what you charge for your office visits. You are a professional and are running a business. In the 100 or more medical depositions that I have taken, not one medical professional has been able to tell me what they charge per office visit. That could be one explanation in the health insurance and medical professional struggle now. How can you talk about lost profits and exorbitant prices when you have no clue about money, fees, or service costs directly related to services rendered?

This is the typical response cut and pasted directly from an recent examination of my client’s treating physician’s deposition:

I can’t make an assessment about causation.  When I see a patient or take care of patients, I’m not really thinking about, you know, is this going to go to a legal situation. I’m mostly concerned about the patients and their well-being so I just go what they tell me, by the history.  So the answer to your question is:  I don’t know.  I can’t say with 100 percent certainty that the motor vehicle accident caused the herniated disk.

I asked the questions previously discussed. Do you have an opinion? Not can you tell me for certain. Plus, if you were truly concerned for the patient, you would also be concerned about the financial stress and misery of undergoing medical treatment and being personally responsible for the medical services you have rendered to them unless you agree that someone else affected their pre-existing injury or caused new injuries.

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Photo of Trey Mills Trey Mills

Floyd S. “Trey” Mills III knows that suffering a personal injury through no fault of your own can be a nightmare for the victim and his or her family

Mr. Mills was born on April 24, 1978.  His parents, Floyd S. “Butch” Mills,

Floyd S. “Trey” Mills III knows that suffering a personal injury through no fault of your own can be a nightmare for the victim and his or her family

Mr. Mills was born on April 24, 1978.  His parents, Floyd S. “Butch” Mills, Jr. and Patricia Yarborough Mills, were originally from Newberry, South Carolina, and soon after the birth of Mr. Mills, his parents brought him back to be raised in the same county they grew up in.

Education

Mr. Mills attended Newberry Academy from grades K-3, Gallman Elementary 4th grade, Rikard Elementary 5-6th grade, Mid-Carolina Middle School 7-8th grades, Mid-Carolina High School from 9-12th grades, Clemson University, and Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University.

Health Crisis

While Mr. Mills was a junior in high school he was chosen by his school to be a representative to Boys State.  This was a great honor and would have been an even better experience except, while at Boys State, Mr. Mills became unusually ill with blackouts, night sweats, and back pain.  Fortunately for Mr. Mills, his mother was an ER nurse at Lexington Medical Center, but unfortunately, for Mr. Mills that did not change his diagnosis of Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.  Along with his diagnosis, Mr. Mills received a prognosis of two weeks.

Obviously, Mr. Mills has been blessed with his second chance at life and those who have been wronged by health care insurance companies and other types of insurance companies can feel confident in knowing that Mr. Mills can not only empathize with them but fight fervently for their side.  Mr. Mills’ cancer experience and his mother’s arduous yet unsuccessful battle against lung cancer were very trying times.  However, those real-world battles and experiences were nothing compared to the administrative and billing wars he had to encounter with Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Insurance. It seems BCBS would deny any charge over $1,000 without rational reasoning therefore prompting Mr. Mills to go to law school and carry the torch for those that were too ill to fight for themselves while the school yard bully beat them down.

College

Mr. Mills went on to Clemson University where he was very active in student activities along with academic accomplishments.  Mr. Mills was invited to join Calhoun Honor’s College, Sigma Pi fraternity, Golden Key National Honor Society, Student Government, IPTAY Student Advisory Board, and Tiger Brotherhood. Mr. Mills also worked as a student employee with IPTAY Scholarship Fund under the direction of Bert Henderson, formerly the Associate Athletic Director of Planned Giving at Clemson University.

Early Life

Mr. Mills was unsure of where his hard work and life experiences would best provide an adequate return to the outpouring of kindness he received during his cancer experience. Having received many blessings from the American Red Cross, Mr. Mills went on to be an Apheresis Donor Recruiter under the supervision of Barry Pollard at the American Red Cross Blood Donor Services in Columbia, SC after graduating Clemson University.

Running from his true calling, Mr. Mills fled to Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico to Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).  Having spent a semester of college in Madrid, Spain, Mr. Mills thought he should be assisting foreign countries. Mr. Mills was certified by the Vancouver Language Centre in Guadalajara for his TEFL training.  Mr. Mills was in Guadalajara only a few months when September 11, 2001 occurred and helped him focus on his life priorities.

Law School

Mr. Mills went on to law school at Mercer University and clerked each summer trying to determine how he could best serve those less fortunate.  The corporate law firms never truly provided him with that personal feeling of assisting the common person in need.  It wasn’t until Mr. Mills became the first law clerk of the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association under the supervision of Linda Franklin and lobbyist Michael Gunn that he realized where his education, life experience, drive, and hard work could truly benefit those who have been personally and directly affected by the negligence of another.  Mr. Mills wanted to be a coveted and much needed plaintiff’s trial attorney.  More importantly Mr. Mills realized the power of the faceless insurance companies, misinformed legislative members, and the true power of money and lobbyist in dictating laws.

What’s the one service you pay for all your life but you are actually penalized if you ever have to use it? Insurance.

Trammell & Mills

Mr. Ernie Trammell gave Mr. Mills his big break at leveling the playing field against the faceless and heartless insurance companies.  Mr. Mills works tirelessly every day in an effort to bring justice to those who have been wronged.  Mr. Mills has worked on both sides of the law and has been through some harrowing life experiences.  Mr. Mills has been tested and tried by many of the more traumatic events that life has to offer and now provides his services to the public.

Who would you rather have on your side? Someone whose resolve has been tested and tried? Or someone who has intertwined their morality and greed in such a way that they can’t tell one from the other?

Why haven’t you hired Mr. Mills to be your attorney yet?

Would you listen to the devil on how to get to Heaven? Then why listen to insurance adjusters?