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Three Arrested for PIP Fraud

In September 2013, Miami police officers made three different arrests in two different personal injury protection (PIP) fraud scams. 

David Louis Hirschenson, a 55-year-old chiropractor, was arrested for allegedly using false credentials to obtain collision reports and then illegally soliciting business from the victims. Authorities also charged 39-year-old Nester Sanchez and his wife, 45-year-old Chakira Vila Puentes, with operating an illegal clinic. Authorities blame PIP fraud and other related problems on the slow implementation of House Bill 119 (HB119), the sweeping PIP reform law passed in May 2012. 

The law’s current status

Almost immediately after HB119 was passed, a group of medical providers obtained an injunction to stop the changes. Acupuncturists, massage therapists, chiropractors and other nontraditional providers were either shut out of the system entirely or their reimbursement levels were drastically reduced. In April 2013, an appeals court upheld that injunction, stating that the new restrictions meant Florida’s insurance law was no longer a “reasonable alternative” to a traditional tort system. The case is still pending; legislators may eventually relax some of HB119’s restrictions to allow more access to a wider variety of medical providers in order to preserve the balance of the reform measures. 

The law’s future

HB119 faces challenges on both the legislative and judicial fronts. In the upcoming legislative session, some legislators may introduce legislation to repeal HB119. One reform measure died in committee in the spring of 2013, because lawmakers believed that the entire law might eventually be declared unconstitutional. There is currently no timetable for a decision in Myers v. McCarty, the case that the nontraditional medical providers filed, which may become the Florida Supreme Court’s vehicle for striking down the law. 

Suffice it to say that Florida’s insurance laws are much more complicated than the laws in neighboring states. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, engage the services of an experienced accident attorney in Central Florida to help you get the compensation you deserve.

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