With medical bills on the line, the appellants accident attorney in the case below filed an appeal after the jury awarded zero damages.
In Vicky Pack v. Geico General Insurance Company, Vicky Pack’s accident attorney filed suit against Ms. Pack’s insurance company, Geico, against her uninsured motorist policy.[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”] The Accident Attorney for Geico conceded at the start of trial that the uninsured driver was neligent, and therefore, the uninsured portion of Ms. Pack’s insurance was available to pay for Ms. Pack’s resulting injuries. However, Geico’s accident attorney secured a verdict for zero dollars of damage.
Accident Attorneys Dispute Damages
Clearly, the accident attorneys for both sides disputed the amount of damage. Part of the dispute revolved around the extent of Ms. Pack’s injuries. Ms. Pack’s accident attorney argued and introduced evidence that tended to show Ms. Pack has suffered both a fracture and disc herniation. Oppositely, Geico’s accident attorney quizzed a rebuttal expert about whether the accident caused merely a neck sprain. Additionally, Geico’s accident lawyer argued that two prior accidents caused her more serious neck injuries.
Judging by the admission of negligence at the start of trial and the lack of damages awarded, the jury tended to believe the testimony that Geico’s accident attorney extracted from the rebuttal witness.
On appeal, the appellant’s (“Ms. Pack”) accident attorney argued in appeal that her client was entitled to reasonable medical expenses and specifically for compensation for diagnostic testing. In addition, appellant’s accident attorney demanded a new trial because the court denied her motion in limine, thereby allowing Geico’s accident attorney to introduce a letter of protection between Ms. Pack and her treating physician who also testified as Ms. Pack’s expert witness.
Payment for Diagnostic Testing For Injuries
In this case, the court agreed with the statement of the law proffered by Ms. Pack’s accident attorney. The Court stated that “a plaintiff may recover the medical expenses for diagnostic testing which were reasonably necessary to determine whether the accident caused her injuries.” This holds true regardless of whether the jury agrees with the plaintiff’s accident attorney arguing that the accident is the legal cause of the injury.
Of course, there are exceptions to the general rule. Some exceptions that allow for awarding zero damages, regardless of the medical expenses put forth by the accident attorney, includes (1) pre-existing injuries with extensive treatments; (2) lack of candor with treating physicians; (3) videotapes that show actual physical capabilities, and (4) expert medical opinions which conflict as to causation.
In this case, Geico’s accident attorney did not introduce evidence of pre-existing injuries with extensive treatments. Nor was there evidence of a lack of candor with treating physicians or video tapes that showed actual physical capabilities. And, the expert witnesses presented by accident attorneys for both sides testified that Ms. Pack suffered at least a neck sprain. Accordingly, appellant’s accident attorney was correct that damages should have been awarded to compensate the accident injury victim for her injuries. In this case, compensation should have at least included payment of the medical costs for diagnostic testing.
Letter of Protection
In order to receive medical treatment for injuries, a letter of protection is commonly required by the medical doctor. In the instant case, a letter of protection between the accident attorney’s client and the treating physician was in dispute. Namely, Ms. Pack’s accident attorney filed a motion in limine requesting that the letter of protection be excluded as evidence.
The court explained that a letter of protection is considered relevant evidence that could indicate bias of the expert witness when the expert witness and the treating physician are one and the same.
Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident in Florida? If so, contact South Florida Accident Lawyer Matthew Sean Tucker at Tucker IP, with an office conveniently located in Broward County. Tucker IP serves clients throughout South Florida, including West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami-Dade. An Accident Attorney Law Firm that wants to help you. Call the Firm toll-free at 1-844-4-TUCKER or send us an email through the Firm’s website. A firm attorney will contact you for a free consultation.