Responding to United Automobile Insurance Company

From reading United Automobile Insurance Company’s blog page, one could be mislead into believing that every claim made against United is frivilous. This is not my personal experience or that of most other lawyers familiar with United.

A simple inspection of the County Court records for Miami-Dade and Broward Counties will reveal a nearly countless number of resolved PIP (Personal Injury Protection) cases against United Automobile Insurance Company resulting from favorable Plaintiff settlements or verdicts, and an active docket of ongoing cases that, I daresay, will conclude in similar fashion. United’s unidentified blogger fails to disclose this crucial information, choosing instead to suggest that one or two cherry-picked unusual situations demonstrate the whole picture. They do not.

My recent experience: On Monday, May 10, 2010, I settled a PIP case with United inside the Miami-Dade courthouse shortly before our jury trial was scheduled to begin. The lawsuit had been filed in June of 2008 for the payment of PIP benefits to a United insured for medical services and physical therapy provided at Orthopedic Care Center (Aventura) under the guidance and control of a board certified orthopedist (the highest certification an orthopedist can achieve) for injuries resulting from a moderately serious motor vehicle accident.

What was United Insurance Company’s defense? That a family doctor (think high blood pressure, diabetes, colds and the flu) – not an orthopedist – hired for United, indicated in a report, after a one-time 15-20 minute examination 6 weeks after the accident, that further medical care was no longer necessary.

Based on this one-time brief examination, United refused to cover additional medical care, even though the treating board certified orthopedist felt that further care was necessary and related and continued to provide the care. The lawsuit sought payment from United for the additional medical care.

Interestingly, the family doctor had not been provided with any of the injured insured’s medical records prior to the examination. Once the doctor was provided with all of the patient’s medical records – by me, some 17 months later – his opinions changed. After reviewing the treating doctor’s medical records and learning that the insured had been under the care of a board certified orthopedist, United’s “expert” testified under oath that all of the care provided by the orthopedist was entirely appropriate and added to his patient’s recovery.

United Automobile Insurance Company is not an innocent babe in the woods. It maintains a full staff of qualified adjusters and attorneys who are ready, willing, and able to fight its battles. It wins some, but, for good reasons, loses many more.

It was inexcusable for United Automobile Insurance Company to wait two years until trial morning to pay Orthopedic Care Center. Don’t expect United to blog the truth about this case.

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Jeffrey P. Gale, P.A. is a South Florida based law firm committed to the judicial system and to representing and obtaining justice for individuals – the poor, the injured, the forgotten, the voiceless, the defenseless and the damned, and to protecting the rights of such people from corporate and government oppression. We do not represent government, corporations or large business interests.