Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case discussing when summary judgment is appropriate in a car accident case involving the payment of future medical expenses. The case illustrates an important concept that is applicable in all Florida car accident cases when the at-fault driver’s insurance company disputes some aspect of the claim.
In this case, the court determined that the expert witness testimony presented by the insurance company gave rise to a material issue as to whether the plaintiff’s continued medical care was a result of the accident. As a result, the court reversed a lower court’s decision granting summary judgment in the plaintiff’s favor.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff was involved in a car accident with a driver who was insured by the defendant insurance company. The insurance company acknowledged that the other driver was at fault and agreed to pay the plaintiff’s medical expenses in advance. In total, the insurance company covered approximately $53,000 of the plaintiff’s medical expenses.
The insurance company eventually stopped making payments after the plaintiff refused to be seen by an independent doctor to evaluate the necessity of ongoing medical treatment. The plaintiff then sought a declaratory judgment from the court, stating that the insurance company was responsible for her future medical expenses.
Both the plaintiff and the insurance company presented evidence supporting their respective side in the form of expert witness testimony. However, the experts with the insurance company were determined not to have an adequate foundation of knowledge, and their testimony was not considered by the court. Thus, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff.
The insurance company appealed, arguing that the experts’ foundation was sufficient, and if the expert testimony was considered, there was a genuine issue as to what caused the plaintiff’s need for ongoing medical treatment. The court agreed with the insurance company, finding that the experts’ opinions were based on their own first-hand knowledge and should have been considered by the trial court. As a result, the court reversed the granting of summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff, explaining that the plaintiff would need to file a personal injury lawsuit to establish the insurance company’s liability for her future medical expenses.
Have You Been Injured in a Florida Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a South Florida car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled South Florida personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Friedman, Rodman & Frank have extensive experience representing Florida accident victims in cases against other motorists and insurance companies. We have a track record of success and are happy to meet with accident victims to discuss their options. Call 877-448-8585 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.
More Blog Posts:
Court Reverses Jury’s Verdict Based on Lack of Evidence Showing the Defendant Knew about Hazard that Caused Plaintiff’s Fall, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published November 27, 2017.
Student’s Premises Liability Case Against School Dismissed Based on Lack of Causation, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published December 5, 2017.