My law partner and I were at lunch today with an Administrator from a well-established Central Florida medical organization who told us a story involving an automobile insurance adjuster that almost knocked us out of our chairs. After handling Florida automobile accident cases for almost 20 years, perhaps I should not have been surprised… Apparently a father was involved in an Orlando car accident, along with his two sons. The father and one of the sons seemed to have fairly straightforward, soft-tissue injuries – meaning no fractures or other major injuries. However, one son was suffering with headaches that would not seem to go away. The father brought himself and his boys to our lunch companion’s medical facility, and one of the medical doctors on staff recommended that the son suffering with headaches receive a CT scan at a local hospital. The father left the medical facility and returned home to schedule the CT scan. As luck would have it, he also spoke to an adjuster with the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) department of his automobile insurance carrier. Florida PIP coverage is designed to cover medical expenses arising out of Florida car crashes. The father mentioned that doctor has prescribed a CT scan, and the adjuster’s response was, to us – unbelievable. According to our friend, the adjuster asked the father if he really thought his son needed a CT scan. The adjuster noted that a CT scan is an expensive procedure, and that having the procedure would more quickly deplete the child’s $10,000.00 statutory PIP benefit. Finally, the adjuster told the father that having such a sizable expense as a CT scan on his family’s insurance record might lead to a higher insurance premium at renewal time, or perhaps being dropped by the company altogether. Interestingly, the adjuster never mentioned whether he possessed a medical degree, or was qualified to decide whether a CT scan would help rule out or verify a head injury. Unfortunately, the adjuster’s scare tactics seemed to work. The father and his sons were never seen again at our friend’s facility, and I would bet that the child never had the recommended CT scan. As a father of four children, I sincerely hope this child is okay. The point of this story is really two-fold. First, I think it is despicable that an insurance adjuster would contradict a licensed medical practitioner, create this kind of financial anxiety in a father’s mind, and ultimately place a child at a significant health risk. Second, and most importantly, I think it is important for all Florida accident victims to be vigilant and to consider whether insurance adjusters really have their best interests in mind. Many times – but not every time – it can benefit folks to contact an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer, if for no other reason than to ask...Read More »
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