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Always check the insurance company's doctors

Posted by Joshua R. Evans | Mar 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

The Insurance Company has a file cabinet full of doctors. Do you?

The moral of this story is look into the Doctor hired by the insurance company.

The case starts with a woman stopped at a red light in Springfield, Illinois. The at fault driver fails to recognize several vehicles stopped at a red light. The at fault driver runs right into the back of my client. The impact of the collision causes my client's vehicle to strike the vehicle ahead of hers. At the scene, my client is experiencing some neck pain and is generally shaken up. She goes to the hospital. The hospital tells her to follow up with her primary care physician. She does. A day or two later my client goes back to work and continued experiencing neck pain.

Her primary care physician referred her to an orthopedic specialist. The orthopedic specialist performs an MRI, and he notes the appearance of bulging discs in my client's neck. This particular orthopedic specialist believed the bulging discs in my client's neck would predate the car wreck. But the client had no history of pre-existing neck conditions. Nonetheless, this orthopedist makes this assertion in his medical notes and at trial. He is adamant that the car wreck did not cause her bulging discs. A bad break for our client. Keep in mind, my office is in Madison County, Illinois, and I just think I have a really conservative doctor.

While many law firms might turn this case down because a treating physician has determined causation does not exist, we took this case. During the litigation, my client was treated by a subsequent orthopedist who determined the first orthopedic specialist was wrong. The second orthopedist opined the most likely cause of cervical disc bulges in an otherwise healthy young woman is trauma. At trial, the second orthopedist was able to explain to the jury why a disc bulge is not found in a young patient absent trauma.

The jury was then asked by the defendant to believe the first orthopedist over the second. That was a real possibility until our office uncovered the first orthopedist had a professional relationship with the at fault driver. In addition, the defense brought in an expert orthopedist. This second doctor for the defense was brought in by the insurance company for the purpose of giving an opinion for the defendant. He, like the first orthopedist, told the jury the car wreck caused no injury to my client. During trial, we were able to show this expert also had a relationship with the at fault driver. Truly remarkable that the insurance company brings a doctor connected to the defendant, but it shows you- take nothing for granted.

The trial last just shy of a week. The jury deliberated for a little over an hour before coming to a unanimous verdict in favor of my client- $820,000.

About the Author

Joshua R. Evans

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