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Florida Court Addresses Credibility of Treating Doctor in Uninsured Motorist Lawsuit

Recently, an appellate court issued an opinion in an appeal stemming from a woman’s claim for uninsured/underinsured(UM) coverage against her insurance company. The woman suffered injuries in a car accident and subsequently filed a negligence claim against the at-fault driver, the owner of the vehicle, as well as a UM claim against her insurance provider. After settling the claims with the driver and car owner, the case proceeded against her insurance provider. The trial court granted the woman’s motion for a directed verdict. The insurance company appealed, arguing that a directed verdict was inappropriate and the case should proceed to a jury trial.

The woman argued that she suffered several injuries due to the accident, but the specific issue in the appeal revolves around injuries to her left knee. The evidence indicates that the woman suffered injuries to her knee while attending the Naval Academy and again while walking. About two months before the accident, the woman underwent surgery for a torn meniscus. She reported that her knee was improving until the car accident. The woman sought treatment from numerous doctors until she found one that would treat her under a letter of protection.

A letter of protection is an agreement between a patient who does not have insurance and a health-care provider. This document provides that the medical provider agrees to a deferred payment while the client is involved in a court case. In most cases, the patient is still responsible for the provider’s bill, regardless of the outcome of their lawsuit.

In this case, the doctor provided expert testimony indicating that the woman’s knee injuries were fully resolved before the accident. She moved for a directed verdict based on the defendant’s failure to call an expert witness to rebut her expert’s testimony. The defendant argued that their failure to call an expert to rebut the plaintiff’s testimony should not result in a waiver of their rights to have the disputed issues be decided by a jury.

In addressing whether a directed verdict was appropriate, the appellate court found that a jury could reasonably question the doctor’s credibility. The appellate court agreed, reasoning that there were conflicting medical records that raised questions about the plaintiff’s knee condition before the accident. Further, a jury could reasonably question the doctor’s credibility based on his treatment under the protection letter. The court ultimately reversed the trial court’s decision and remanded the case for further proceedings.

Have You Suffered Injuries in a Florida Car Accident?

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a Florida car accident, contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon. The attorneys at our law firm have extensive experience successfully handling all types of personal injury lawsuits. We understand the financial, physical, and psychological toll that accidents can have on a person and their family. As such, we provide our clients with top-notch representation in their claims for damages against at-fault parties and insurance companies. Our clients have recovered compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and other similar losses through our diligent representation. Contact our office at 877-499-4878 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at our law firm.

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