The car accident injury claims were filed. The insurance company made payments to the limit of Florida law for personal injury protection (PIP). So what happened next? A Fort Lauderdale attorney filed a lawsuit for $2.59, according to the blog United Auto Courts Report.
And that’s the way it is in Broward County, where attorney Steven Lander of Lander & Goldman in Fort Lauderdale is suing United Auto Insurance Company (United Auto) on behalf of his client.
“This is yet another instance of plaintiff attorneys seeking petty amounts for their clients and big legal fees for themselves,” said Richard Parrillo, Sr., founder and CEO of United Automobile Insurance Company. “This abuse of the legal system makes insurance coverage more expensive for drivers and misuses precious court time. Judges, court clerks and insurance companies waste their time and money dealing with civil charges that do little for the insured and everything for their attorneys.”
What makes this case incomprehensible is that United Auto had paid the full limit of PIP benefits, Parrillo said.
Basic PIP benefits cover 80 percent of an injured person’s medical bills and 60 percent of lost wages up to a maximum of $10,000. In the case of Lander’s client, United Auto had issued two payments equaling the $10,000 figure before the lawsuit was filed, according to United Auto Courts Report.
The client, which does business as C&R Imaging of Hollywood, claims that its benefits were improperly reduced. How is this possible? Lander does not explain this in court papers. All he says in the initial filing is that United Auto breached its contract to provide benefits.
The dispute is headed to a pre-trial conference, which may put an end to the matter. But, what’s left unresolved is why such petty claims get filed.
“Why do such petty claims get filed?” Parrillo said. “Who has the greater motivation to sue in this case, the MRI clinic that’s seeking $2.59 or an attorney who charges about $375 an hour for his services? And why haven’t the courts — and the Florida legislature — done more to clear the courts of this type of mess?”
ABOUT UNITED AUTO COURTS REPORT
Florida drivers are paying some of the highest insurance premiums in the country as a result of the fraud being committed by sometimes organized rings of runners, healthcare providers and PIP attorneys that have been milking the system since the inception of Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system. This has caused most insurance companies writing minimum limits auto insurance to go out of business, making this type of insurance less available and much more expensive.
What’s more, in the past, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has stated that more than 80% of all automobile accident injury claims are in fact fraudulent.
United Automobile Insurance Company has been at the forefront of fighting this monumental fraud problem in the Florida Legislature and in county, circuit and appellate courts. But this battle has been very expensive and seemingly unwinnable in part to what the company sees as an uneven playing field in Miami-Dade and Broward County courts.
The United Auto Courts Report blog (http://www.unitedautocourtsreport.com/blog) updates its readers on the cases, verdicts and appellate decisions that impact the state of Florida’s automobile insurance market.
ABOUT UNITED AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE CO.
Founded in 1989, United Automobile Insurance Co. is a property and casualty insurance company specializing in automobile insurance. The company is committed to providing its agents and their customers a quality product with state-of-the-art processing and claims service. Through its affiliates, UAIC provides a variety of insurance-related services including premium finance, claims processing and advanced on-line sales products.
UAIC, its executives and employees are involved in the communities the company serves. They support a host of organizations such as The Mike Lowell Foundation, Miami Children’s Hospital, Children’s Home Society, Heartsight Miami, The Boys and Girls Club of Broward County, St. Jude Hospital, Do The Right Thing, Florida’s Children First, President’s Fest in the Park, Aspira, The PASS Program and Switchboard Miami. Additionally, UAIC supports law enforcement programs, training and has funded the Fallen Officer Memorial in Tropical Park.
UAIC offers auto insurance in 12 states and continues to expand its reach each year. The key to the company’s growth and success is its commitment to providing quality service to its agents and customers, disciplined underwriting, and fast and fair claims handling. For more information, visit www.uaig.net.
CONTACT: Richard Parrillo, Sr. United Automobile Insurance Company (305) 940-7299 [email protected]
SOURCE: United Automobile Insurance Group