Insurance Company’s Attempt to “Doctor Shop” Defeated
Rear End Collision – $580,000.00 Settlement: Our client is a 66 year old active duty Louisiana State Trooper. He enjoys a 46 year marriage, of which has given him 4 children and 7 grandchildren. On this day, he was a back seat passenger in his daughter’s SUV with a grandchild on both his left and his right. The SUV was not equipped with a middle seat head restraint. Our client’s vehicle was at a complete stop on a typical two way highway in Livingston Parish when it was struck from behind by a commercial paint van carrying near minimal auto coverage.
Shortly after the accident, our client began to experience neck pain. He began conservative care but his symptoms began to increase in severity. This led to our client to seek more aggressive treatment protocols, including multiple epidural steroid injections. Eventually, injections failed to provide our client the long-term relief needed to resume his day to day activities.
Fortunately, both our client and his daughter maintained sizeable Under-Insured Motorist policies allowing our lawyers to “stack” these UM policies. Notwithstanding the fact that our client and his daughter paid monthly premiums for just this type of event occurring, both UM insurance companies refused to pay a dime. The insurance companies decided to fight and deny benefits to their own insured.
Eventually, our client’s doctor advised his best avenue for pain relief would be a two level cervical fusion surgery. Prior to the eventual surgery, both insurance companies requested our client be examined by their hand-selected doctor. However, for nine months after examining our client the insurance company doctor refused to produce a written report of his findings. When finally forced to do so, the reason was clear, as the insurance company’s own doctor concluded that our client did not need a two level fusion, but rather needed a THREE level surgery and that the collision was the cause. Even in the face of this overwhelming evidence, the secondary UM insurer STILL refused to pay and then tried to “doctor shop” by paying another doctor to write a unfavorable report from only looking at our clients medical records. Our lawyers intervened and prevented this unethical tactic, stopping the second attempt at a medical exam. Ultimately being out of “tricks’, and facing a jury trial, the insurance company finally surrendered to the diligent work of our attorneys and paid 100% of their policy limits.