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| Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn

A federal investigation recently revealed that a chiropractic’s office in Florida has been staging car accidents in order to collect large amounts of insurance money. The report also revealed that a manager at the clinic was bribing local hospital employees to obtain patient’s data in order to solicit injured individuals’ business.

The case highlights Florida’s personal-injury-protection law (PIP), which mandates insurance companies issue an up-to-$10,000 payout for injury claims, regardless of which party was at fault. According to authorities, the types of clinics that takes advantage of this law often prescribe unnecessary treatment for injured victims, or else bill for procedures and services that never took place.

In the instance above, the employee of the accused clinic would offer participants up to $1500 if they agreed to take part in the staged accidents; the employee himself was paid nearly $150,000 per year for his services, and listed only as “driver” in the company’s records. The clinic took more than $1,500,000 from insurance companies over a twenty-month period; the legitimacy of the claims is in question.

The fraud was revealed from the FBI’s recruiting an informant, who reported back to agents on the clinic’s doings. The FBI itself reports that more than $40,000,000,000 in insurance fraud occurs every year, resulting in anywhere from $400 to $700 in increased premiums for the average United States family.

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