First Off, Let's Kill All the Lawyers

Attorney David Heffernan

Chiropractic Health Dr Srour Joins us LIVE with David Heffernan

Welcome to another episode of First off, let's kill all the lawyers. It's an off misquoted Shakespearean statement from back in the 1500s. But probably still hold some truth today when you talk to people. And you know, one of the things I've found over the last 30 years of practicing and doing personal injury work is people do like to bash lawyers until they've got a lawyer or need a lawyer. And so the thought behind this show was to talk about different areas of law types of law, trending topics of law. And one of the things I thought we'd do today, we're going to shift gears a little bit. My guest today is Dr. Charles. Sure, sir. All right. I got it. I got it. Right, totally. I'm only saying that one time, you're now Charlie, the rest of it. But he is a Doctor of Chiropractic. And we're going to talk about some of the interplay, I think, between lawyers between chiropractors, I want to talk about his practice, educate a little bit about types of injuries, treatments, and everything else that are there.

And I think there's a lot of similarities in some things, Charlie, so mark, and I did a show a few weeks ago, you know, hopefully, the governor will sign this, this change of law, and the auto law, which is going to get rid of PIP and the whole no fault scheme, which hopefully will then get rid of the one 800 car accident clinic and the chiropractic clinics that that you have there. So I think I think personal injury lawyers tend to get bashed a lot. I know chiropractors get bashed a lot, but but I want to show you that lawyers get bashed more, because I looked this up. So here's the ultimate list of lawyer jokes. Okay, you see how thick this is? Okay. Although it's a guy, it's got a few good ones. So how many lawyer jokes are out there? There's a lot of wager. Now there's only three, the rest are true stories. So but, but then I looked up chiropractor jokes. It's only like six pages. And frankly, there's only one that's any good in here. So how many chiropractors does it take to change a light bulb?

How many? Just one but it takes six visits. Okay, so, so here's, here's the thing, you know, I mean, I've been helping people in South Florida along with my partner Mark care for 30 years. I've never chased an ambulance. I've never run into the back of an ambulance. You know, and, and I know that, that your chiropractic business is far different from what the people see on the billboards in the advertisements to go back and forth. So let's talk about that a little bit. So let's talk about you. First off, you're from Canada, where you grew up. Alright, what brings you to the US. So I went to school, university, Toronto, then I graduated and did my chiropractic in California. Okay.

It was just far distance wise, it was far timezone wise. So I wanted to be on the East Coast, I kind of fell backwards with an opportunity to work with a group guy who was the chiropractor for the Miami Dolphins, and hired me on the spot over a phone call. And I came down to South Florida, and kind of fell backwards into a great office with a great philosophy, sports injuries, which was my passion. I played tennis as a kid, and competitively throughout until To this day, and I just had a good opportunity to work with this guy and in that environment, and we ended up treating, you know, the Miami Dolphins for many years, the Florida Panthers for many years, some of the Marlin players.

And you know, one thing led to another, I took over the practice, and my wife had kids and we and we love it here. And we've had you in South Florida since then. Yeah. So you run pro healthcare, which is where so pro healthcare is in North Miami.

It's a, you know, sports injuries was the base behind it. But since you know, practicing for 20 years, you start to expand into Family Health and some auto accidents. It's multidisciplinary. We do chiropractic, physical therapy, massage therapy we have, we have mental health counseling. So we have several different you know, we tried to make it like a one stop shop for all of that. But at the same time, it's more of a what my goal was always to be more of that concierge type. It's not, I'm not a concierge doctor, but I try to offer those services where I'm involved, I'm doing the work.

There may be a time where I need to hire others to do things for me as I get older, but, you know, as long as I can do it, and I'm in, I'm in there, I'm in the grind and I love doing it. Alright, so let's talk a little bit about chiropractic medicine. And you talk I think, you know, you describe sort of a holistic approach. Yes. Okay. So, so let's talk about what chiropractic medicine is because I want to dispel some of the

myths, just like there's myths about personal energy lawyers, you know, that they're all chasing cases and the chiropractor's, you know, they just want that 10,000 and paper, anything else, let's talk about because chiropractic medicine been around a long time, you've already dispelled one myth, you're actually very well educated. So there is, you know, you are a doctor. It's not a medical degree, but but it's still eight years of, you know, postgraduate education or more. And, and I got to see you did all kinds of things really well, like, you know, graduated magna cum laude, and Dean's list. And so that's impressive. So you're well educated Now, what's, what's the practice about? So, you know, the practice is about what, you know, there's many different philosophies, like there's many ways to practice law, you know, you have your philosophy, your partner has his philosophy, maybe they're the same, maybe they're a little bit different.

You know, chiropractic, the, the origin of it is really, it started out as manipulation of the spine, to free the nervous system, allow the body to heal itself without the use of surgery and drugs.

That's evolved over time. Whereas in the past, they were not accepting of rehabilitation and massage therapy and modalities, physical therapy, all the all the other things that go along with it.


as time has gone on, things change, and those kinds of things, because, you know, the realization of how important those things are not just about spinal manipulation, but you know, if someone has need certain rehab has certain weaknesses, and that kind of thing. So it's, it is a holistic approach. And that's kind of the you know, there was no way for the old philosophy chiropractor to work in a

Miami Dolphins or, or, you know, a professional athletes, sort of arena with doctors that don't think alike, right. So you have to mold yourself. Now, that's, you know, when you're doing your own thing in your own clinic, you have your philosophy, what is surgical, what is not surgical, when do I need to refer it out for, you know, an orthopedic consult or something like that.

But that's the basis of what we do,

trying to heal or speed up the healing for patients without the use of drugs, surgery, when needed, then there's a time in place. So have you seen a shift, because I know,

for a long time, you know, Western medicine, didn't want to acknowledge some of these things. And I had a case years ago, that involved in acupuncturist at the University of Miami.

And I wound up doing some research on that and was blown away by the fact, countries were doing open heart surgery under acupuncture and things like that. Maybe it wasn't documented in a textbook, but it's 1000s of years of treatment and care. And again, a holistic approach of aligning things in the body and everything else. So have you seen that start to shift now? Where where there's sort of a merging between these two? So, yes, and no, I mean, I'm not I'm not going to get into the political side of things. Big Pharma. And so

what we see what good they've done for everyone. But at the same time, you know, what I tend to see in my office is, someone gets injured, they've tried everything else. And then

often the last straw, and especially early in my career, and suddenly you get them better. And they didn't need to go through what they went through. They, you know, they were not carried properly, they were mis diagnosed, they were treated improperly overly medicated, whatever it might be, and you get them better. And then suddenly, you become their guy, you know, that's you're there guy for everything.

And so, they come to you for the advice that comes to you. So in one way it takes certain patients an injury that they are not getting, they're not improving, they're not getting better, their quality of life has gone down, and they're looking for something else.

And then there's the other side are people who this generation is more open minded.

And you start to see a merge of the two. There's no question the population over the 20 years has changed. Now that you're seeing chiropractors on the sidelines in professional, you know, every movie star talks about their chiropractor, you know, Hollywood, you know what it is, it's more in the media.

It is sort of becomes more popular. So it's definitely shifted. And there's definitely there's that, you know, you have different connotations different in different arenas, but I work with many medical doctors, you know, nutritionists, I, you know, in my building where I, you know, my building, I've got all kinds of doctors to me and we cross refer

Daly, and it's a great relationship, I think it's really important. So you talk about sort of the, what I guess would be the term maintenance because there's, I think there's a phase, and we'll talk about that in a minute of treatment of acute injury and things like that, that there's a great benefit to what are also seems now to be some philosophy of, of maintaining. And we're seeing I think, that shift in mental health as well, that people are now starting to get more time to maintain their mental health. And some of these things are sort of coming out of the darkness say, no, it's okay to sort of get adjusted and maintain you maintain your car, you maintain all these other things that are important to you, why wouldn't you maintain your body and your brain? I think, what, what happens is, maintenance is different for everybody. And to be dictated by someone, and told, hey, you need to come here once a week for the rest of your life as a maintenance, that that to me doesn't work. Maintenance, for me, everyone has a different level of active everyone has a has their own history. So it's about figuring out what that person's maintenance is for them, okay, you have a tremendous history of injuries, let's say you're a football player, well, you may need more maintenance than someone who's, you know, a little more sedentary, or not, if that other person is sedentary, and is developing chronic issues as well. So maintenance is extremely important. And but understanding, you know, my philosophy is not just, I'm the one who's going to maintain, its, I'm going to give you the tools, I'm going to help you, if you get injured, I'm going to help you, I'm going to treat you I'm gonna maintain you I'm going to, you know, balance things up, but to give you the tools so that you can do things on your own to help. And that's how I got into this field was I was injured, wasn't getting better, with regular, you know, pain medication treating symptoms.

And so, I went to the chiropractor that my dad sort of forced me to go to because I wasn't getting better. And, and it was a philosophy that turned me on to it. It was, well how are you sleeping? Well, you can't sleep like that, because of that. So if you don't change what you're doing, you're gonna be right back in the office for another treatment, right? So treat, get them better. Give them the tools so that they don't reinjure or that we've come up with a cause? And then have them come in maybe it's once a month, maybe it's once every six weeks, maybe it's every two weeks, to sort of maintain what we've done. And if you have chronic injuries, yeah, okay, you may have to come in a little more frequently. But there's also things you can do. And I think the education is just as important as what I do for the patient. And I think that's a tremendous philosophy, because you are, you're giving them the tools. And I think too many times and, you know, get we saw it with Big Pharma with opioids and everything else was here, just take these take these. And while they probably effectively masked a few things, they buried everything else. And and and then and then the hook behind it was was horrendous. So we're seeing that. Alright, let's talk now.

There's obviously a natural marriage between lawyers to do personal injury work like Mark and I do. And doctors, chiropractors, everybody else because

much as we'd like to, I don't get to go in court and say, Okay, here's all the injuries. Let me tell you what they are, you know, I've got to have people that document that I've got to have people that treat that. So let's talk about that component of your practice that is accident related. What are what are the type of injuries because get thing it's hard for me as a lawyer, often, you break your arm, I can put an X ray up, anybody on the jury can go, oh, that bone was like this. It's now like this. That's broken. Right. But we talk about soft tissue, we talk about whiplash. And again, I think phrases that get abused by people scoffed at, but let's talk about that what happens with the mechanics of a car accident? That may not result in broken bones? Right. So you bring up a good point. Yeah, I had a situation yesterday. lady comes in car accident.

went to the hospital, from the from the scene. So they'll they'll take they'll take it the job of the people in the hospital is not to tell you you're fine. It's, it's to examine, make sure you're not going to die, right and get you out of there. Right. So they do a couple x rays, okay, nothing's broken. They don't need to be concerned about their their liability is gone. Now go somewhere to treat, you know, to fix yourself any therapy, whatever it might be. So,

patients Academy, then they'll say, Yeah, I went to the hospital and nothing's broken. And they said nothing's broken, but I'm in a lot of pain. Well, okay, so let's discuss that. Why are you in pain? Well, x rays are not the gold standard for any soft tissue injury, okay. So if they're so let's define that. What is soft tissue mean? So soft tissue means

So when you do an X ray, you're basically imagine a screen here, oh, you know, you're looking at a white screen, the person stands here, and you're getting black paint shot at you. Okay, so all this black paint of the X ray would be shot at you. And the result will show on the screen, while bones stops the black paint from going through. So you're gonna see the bone on the screen. And so you pull up an X ray. And you see, it's, it's perfect for to see if there's any broken bones, okay? What you're not going to see is the spaces in between, right, the areas that the black paint penetrates, which is all the soft stuff in your body, right? Whether it's muscle, whether it's disk, whether it's cartilage, you're not going to see that you're going to see this space where it where it's supposed to be. So when we talk about ligaments, muscles, tendons, discs, cartilage, which is basically everything that holds the bones together, everything else, right, you need to do that would be an MRI, and MRI is the gold standard to look at any of those structures and their integrity. So what's the difference between MRI and an X ray, so like I said, X ray specific for bone, okay, because that black paint k cannot penetrate the bone. So if there's a crack in the bone, you're gonna see a black line, that was that's not supposed to be there, right, or if the bone is off, right, you're gonna see a white line here, white line here and the space that's not supposed to be there.

An MRI, you're going to get the same image. But now we're talking about other structures, you will see the you will see the bone on X ray, I mean, I'm sorry, on MRI, but you will also see muscles, discs, any tears and that type of thing. So it's a more costly form of imaging, but it's going to show a lot more. So when you say, you know, what's a soft tissue injury? Well, a soft tissue injury could be a strain muscle, it could be a disc herniation. You know, it could be a cartilage tear, any of those constitutes soft tissue injury, and there's different grades of that. Alright, one of the things we see a lot ligaments, and again,

if it's torn, kind of easy to see. But I think the mechanics that you see with the forces involved in automobile accidents, often strains or stretches ligaments, and what happens when, when that occurs. So that's a good point. Sometimes you do an MRI, and it shows nothing. It says, normal, normal structures, nothing's torn. And but the patient

still has pain, and could potentially have what we call ligament laxity. Okay. So let's say, you know, I put my finger back like this, okay.

And let's say you're a strong guy, you pushed it, and you went too far. If I did an MRI of this finger, if I did an X ray, this finger, if I do any imaging, it's not going to show anything, but I'm in pain. Right? Right. So something happened here, like, I'm not lying, I'm in pain, right. So if those fibers, whether it be ligament or tendon get pulled too far,

almost like a frayed rope, they can stretch, okay, and that can cause inflammation and pain and that kind of thing. So when you talk about those kinds of things, more auto accident related the same as a whiplash, you get into an accident, you may not show symptoms, you may not show anything on the picture, but the patient may still have symptoms as a result of the ligaments getting strained. And sometimes it can be tested with certain x rays where we would, you know, flex the neck in a certain way, take a picture, extend the neck in a certain way, take a picture and see if the bones which is what the ligaments holds in place shift, then you can see the ligament laxity there, or on an orthopedic test, let's say my wrist is only supposed to go this far, but it's traveling way too far. You know, there there are ways to test as well. So, you know,

the gold standard is that MRI for imaging, but at the same time, there are times where I'll get an MRI sent to me a text message from my dad from someone. Hey, what do you think?

The semi the MRI with the report? I said, Well, what do I think? I agree with the report. It says there's a disc herniation at this level or whatever it might be right there. And is it Yeah, but is that surgical? That that's a totally different? I can't answer that. Because you have to look at the entire clinical picture. Because someone with for example, a disc herniation may not have any pain, it may be a completely asymptomatic situation, but their MRI looks miserable. And then you might have someone with a minor issue on the MRI and be in extreme pain and then there might be some

thing more that needs to be done. So

the whole clinical picture is important. The exam,

the history, and then and then the imaging as well. And so everything together sort of gives you an answer as to Okay, what needs to be done. We'll see. And that's what terrifies me. So I've obviously played a lot of football banged around a lot. I don't want to get an MRI of anything, because I'm afraid what it will show because I feel fine.

Don't show me so I, I have my shoulder years ago, yeah. And he goes, well problem my bicep tendonitis. It was inflamed. He goes, that's what's causing your pain. He goes, you've got a torn rotator cuff. Yeah, he goes, but that's real old. He goes, so we're not worried about that, you know, we're gonna we're gonna control this inflammation that you're suffering from. Absolutely. And, and I tell patients that before MRI, that

sometimes it's good. You know, we have picked up cancer when we were taking an MRI of a neck because of neck pain after an accident, so they weren't any pain, but we picked up thyroid cancer, and suddenly, they're stage four, and they need all this treatment. And it pretty much saved their life because we because we found something inadvertently, right?

But at the same time, I could be, you know, you may have strained your lower back just muscular and your back's killing you, you say I want an MRI, we do an MRI, we may show three herniations. But that's not the cause of your pain. The cause of your pain is the strain muscle, you're gonna be fine. Those herniations you fell out of a treat when you were five, or whatever, right? You know. So doing an MRI is good, but it you know, it shows everything and it's going to show old stuff, new stuff. So that's why the whole clinical picture of the exam is just as important. The whole thing has to be together. Alright, so let's play shown talk because your chiropractor so I know you brought a spine with you, I guess. Okay, um, let's educate some people. We're talking about discs and we're talking about ligaments. We're talking about the mechanics of an injury. So let's let's define some of these terms and show the mechanics of a whiplash because, again, it's a term I think, you know, at least defense lawyers love to scoff at, oh, it's whiplash, which people mean, you know, you got tapped in the rear and there's nothing wrong with it. Right. you've dealt with it, we've dealt with it. We've had joint you know, patients and clients in exclusive exquisite pain as a result of a whiplash injury. So, alright, so walk us through this. Okay. So we're going to try to keep it as simple as possible. This is looking at the spine from behind, okay. Okay. So this person is facing, let's say, the back there, you have the pelvis. And these are the bones of the spine, which should be relatively straight. Okay.

The head would be here, the neck is here, mid back, lower back, and pelvis. Okay. Okay.

So now I'm going to turn as if I'm facing you, so this spine is now facing you.

So when the baby's born, they're in that C shaped the fetal position, right? They start to lift their baby, by the way,

they start to lift their head, and they develop this curve in the neck, okay, okay. Then they start to stand and walk.

And they developed this curve

in the lower back. So that's the normal sort of ash shape of a healthy spine, right from the side view, right? From the back view is straight, right sign you these are normal curves, they help with the cushioning when you're walking, running, or you know, any impact throughout the day. Those curves are there for a reason. Okay. Now,

these are the bones and they're separated by these discs and those are like your shock absorbers. Okay?

And in between, you have these nerves, spinal nerves that exit the spine, and they go to the rest of the body controlling everything, right, okay.

So, the mechanics, let's say have a typical rear end collision, patients in their car had a red light, and they get hit from behind. Okay. So typically, whether it's a 10 mile an hour, 30 mile an hour, typically the patient's wearing their seatbelts, they're gonna get hit. And the first reaction will be where the head and neck quickly go forward. Sure, okay. Because you've got you've got the upper part of your body restrained by by seatbelt. Correct. So,

that part of the accident, now you're getting almost like when someone pushes you quickly from behind and you're not expecting it.

You have ligaments that attach each vertebra to each other, and though and muscles and tendons and those if they're forced forward like that quickly, will stretch. Okay, and

Then after that, you get the results of that you and your head comes snapping back, right, then you get the joints, they kind of snap back onto each other and sort of pinch each other and can cause pain, inflammation and that type of thing.

That's the first sort of, you know, minor would be a minor whiplash, where the discs are not involved. Okay, so that's like, what they call a sprain strain or a whiplash where it's just muscle, and ligaments, and maybe some nerve involvement, some inflammation, because those tend those tendons and ligaments get stretched, without expecting it, and the results is pain. Okay? Now, you know, in a more severe situation, that same thing can happen in a quicker situation.

Or let's say, if the patient's head is, you know, they're looking into the rear view or something like that, they will step forward quickly

cause a brief, quick compression to the front of the disk, right? causing that jelly material and disk to get forced back into the nerves here. And that's usually a little bit, that could be a very severe situation. But it's definitely more involved than just a regular sprain, strain injury, that so you've got these discs that are encapsulated, sort of like a gel like and so so they're gonna crush, if they crush that can push out and push back on a nerve. Right? So I like to think I explained it as the jelly doughnut model. You have that jelly doughnut or the jelly material on the inside, right, the cartilage of the dopey part on the outside. So if I squished one side, something's gotta get jelly. Don't the jelly mature is gonna pass out the other side, right? So here's the jelly here. If I force this forward, and now I'm squishing the front, where's the jelly going to go? out of the back? Okay, go back and left back and right. And this is an example of a lower back, right? herniation. It's coming back and to the right. And that's from the quick compression on the front of the disk. And then the result of that is the pain and the numbness tingling, all the symptoms that we see. All right. So how important is it for people when they get into an auto accident to get evaluated early? Well, yeah, that's I mean, you know, what happens is often, we'll see that patients come in, and they'll say, you know, the first day or two, I wasn't bad, and then they want to come in. After that. They said, I can't move now. And so sometimes there's a lot of adrenaline, and at the end, they don't want to go to the hospital, they don't want it, they don't want to spend the time. But it's important that at some point after an accident, you're evaluated, because there can be a whole host of symptoms that come on spine brain, that you you wouldn't even associate with the accident, because it's days later, or,

you know, Brain, Brain fog, you know, the brain is just swimming around in its own in a skull. So you can hit centers of the brain that can cause confusion, dizziness, and all kinds of things. So the evaluation is extremely important, not just for the spine, but for the whole body. Wonderful. Well, we have certainly learned a lot today about spine accidents,

some hopefully the myths and dispel them about personal injury lawyers about chiropractors, that as with everything, there's some out there, and they're on the billboards, and they're gonna see him there. And there's others that care about what they do. Okay. And Charlie, I know, because we've dealt with you firsthand and seen the quality of care you provide your patients, that this sort of compassion and empathy that you're showing today is an everyday thing for you. And so I really appreciate you coming in again, pro healthcare. Dr. Charlie Brewer, okay. I'm calling him Charlie makes it easy. But there's, there's hopefully again, maybe some lawyers we can take off the list, maybe some chiropractors wouldn't take up less. I don't know where their chiropractors in 1500 When Shakespeare wrote then

we will have to go back and look because I don't remember a quote about killing all the chiropractors but let's not kill them all. Charlie, great having you in today. Really appreciate it. I appreciate it.

Attorney David Heffernan

Kaire & Heffernan, LLC

(305) 372-0123

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Kaire and Heffernan Partnership
May 24 2021
Kaire and Heffernan Partnership
Welcome to First off, let's kill all the lawyers that off misquoted Shakespearean phrase from the 1500s. But as many people will still say today, it's probably not a bad start. I'm David Halford. And I've been practicing law for about 30 years here in South Florida. And the goal behind this broadcast is to bring lawyers in that maybe shouldn't be on that kill list and let you meet some of the local lawyers in this town. Talk about what they do talk about some trending things in law, and just overall kind of educate on on various aspects. My guest today pretty easy one, if you look at the name of the law firm, it's Karen Heffernan. Well, he's care and I'm Heffernan, so that that puts the law firm together, but good friend of mine, I've known mark my entire legal career since we went to law school together. But Mark, welcome. Thanks, Dave. And actually, when you said 30 years practicing our graduation was about 30 years ago this weekend. So good lord, or something like that? It does. It does. So let's, let's talk a little bit about you. What was your journey to get into law? I mean, what was what was the decision between, you know, for law school, and then kind of how did it go from there, like, candidly, I think I was too dumb to do anything else. So stumbled into law school, I really had no direction when I went to law school. And thankfully, my brother in law was a practicing lawyer in Miami. And he had a workers compensation and Personal Injury firm. And he was kind enough to give me a job, both in law school and coming out of law school. So I worked there for a while and went out on my own. Shortly thereafter, I opened up my practice in 1997. And was on my own and then you and I joined up probably almost about probably almost about 10 years ago. Yeah, yeah. Which was, which is an interesting story. Mark, and I had stayed in touch since law school. But then mark had a very interesting case of a guy who broke his neck and in a world Indoor Football League. And so given my background, you know, sort of asked me to help with that case, and things went very well. And yeah, and I think at the same time, we were probably working on that negligent security case. I don't know which one came first. But we had the negligent security case as well. And it worked on both those cases. And the next thing I knew we were part of, yeah, no, it worked. Worked out. Well. Very similar, I think in in in background and everything else. Oddly enough, you know, you've been married a long time. It's now my 32nd wedding anniversary today. How long? Yep. But you know, three kids and and sort of that stability of of life, which I think is important. 100%? All right. So let's, let's talk about one of the things obviously, that we do in our practice between you and I 1000s and 1000s of automobile cases, right. Right now, Florida is on the verge of probably the most sweeping changes in in automobile insurance law in the last 50 years. So, Senate Bill 54 has passed the House and the Senate is now just waiting for the governor signature. But But let's talk about that a little bit, because we hear the phrases a lot. So Florida, up until maybe this this January, something governor signs it, it's been a no fault state. So what does that mean? Sure. What What is the no fault portion of it mean? Yeah. In other words, here's the law in Florida, because because it is unique. I think Florida is only one of a handful of states, that actually still has no fault. I believe it's one of two and the backward the backward ation of the system is it I guess it is what it says no fault. So in Florida, you were and still are currently until the governor signs the law, right responsible for payment of your own medical bills. So if you're in an accident, and the accident is not your fault, your insurance company knows as your P IP carrier, your no fault carrier will pay 80% of your medical bills up to $10,000. And with that PIP requirement, I think it's twofold. Right? So Florida, I think, again, was one of only two states that doesn't require a driver to have bodily injury liability coverage in effect. So all you need in order to drive a car in Florida is the minimum requirements of P IP, which is for payment of your own medical bills, and to replace someone else's car property damage of $10,000. Even that is so outdated, because right now you're talking about a fender bender in Florida on any car is going to exceed $10,000. So both were one was outdated, the system itself and then the minimum requirements were likewise outdated. Yeah. Which is which is bizarre when you look at it because those minimum requirements, I think were put in place in 1972. So you haven't right, you haven't changed those numbers since since 1972. Insane. So so the odd thing is and we see a lot in our practice because people come in and they said I don't know I'm fully insured, right? But so if I understand what you're saying to be fully insured in Florida now, you don't have to have any insurance that covers you if you cause an accident. That's That's correct. You just have to have coverage to, to pay for the damage to somebody else's car, but not the damage that you may have caused that other person. Right? So you you get you seriously hurt somebody right? You're still fully insured by the laws of Florida. Correct. And but you have to have no insurance that protects you correct? That's a little bizarre. So let's talk about this change. Because like I said, probably the biggest change in 50 years in this law, as it has now passed the House, the Senate, what is the law going to be in Florida to be insured now? Sure. So the law will now require you to carry 2550 we use those numbers, right, so 25,000 per person 50,000, in total, for bodily injury liability coverage. So now, if you cause an accident, you are going to be responsible for paying the person that you injured, you're going to have to have a minimum of 25,000 bodily injury liability coverage to compensate that one person. And if there's three people in the car for people, they would get a combined 50,000. So you're forcing the drivers to now carry bodily injury liability insurance to compensate the injured party, it's also going to shift the payment of the medical bills. So the payment of the medical bills were assumed to be paid in the old system, by your own carrier under that tip. Now, the person who is injured will either have his health insurance, pay those medical bills, you can purchase the med pay policy, you can you can purchase that when you purchase your auto coverage. So med pay can pay your medical bills, or you will pay it from a settlement. Okay, so your medical bills will be paid in one of three ways. In the event that you're involved in an accident now, and I saw in a lot of the debate, the issues being raised by the House and the Senate talked about with the P IP skin scheme, being you know, your medical bills, you know that $10,000 being covered that that was an area that was ripe for fraud, right. And I think we've seen a lot of that with staged accidents and and some of those lawyers that should be on that list to be killed, you know that, that have to have deals with accident clinics and everything else, because it was it was almost an automatic. Here's $10,000, right, if I got into a little minor fender bender, so that, to me is the most important part of this change. One having a lot the bodily injury liability coverage, I think is great. And increasing the limits. Also for property damage is going to be helpful. But the most important part, I think, which was hurt, it hurts you and I and it hurts people that are legitimately injured, because you're listening to accidents 24, seven from these accident clinics, right. And by the way, these accident clinics aren't just advertising. And there are some good clinics, right? There are some doctors that are in this to actually treat and help people and make them better. But there are a number of clinics that have exploited the P IP system to the max. And they have used runners. They do everything that lawyers aren't supposed to do. Right. So they contact clients, they get the police report, they offer people money to come treated their clinic. So when you and I walk into a courtroom with an auto case, jurors may have been involved in an accident before and have been illegally contacted illegally recruited paid money to come to a clinic. So you and I are always walking in with a little bit. We're behind walking in. Because people are looking at us like Well, how do we know you're not associated with one of those clinics? How do we know that this is real? So I think getting rid of that will be terrific. And it should cut down on a lot of fraud because you had a lot of people that might have been involved in a minor fender bender that were not injured, got a call from a clinic country with us, we'll pay you some money. Right? Because how many times have you had a client come into your office and say I heard I'm entitled to $10,000? Oh, sure, for my accident, right. They're confusing the tip benefits that the doctor is going to get with money that they're entitled to get. So let's go it's going to be very telling to see how that changes the landscape. And are we going to see a decrease in some of these advertising, you know, campaigns that are going, you know, have been an accident call those calls calls? I think so because they depend on the cash flow to fund that advertising. Right. And if their client the cash flow, isn't there from from the P IP insurance, those cases aren't going to be as valuable to them as they have been. And actually, we still need the governor to sign the bill. Right. We're still waiting for governor design it hopefully he will, too. They're on the way there. You know, I had I had read one of the stats that they were relying on the the insurance industry cited his reason for keeping the P IP scheme in place. And they were saying that I think 42 or 43% of the population or the drivers would see an increase in their rates. Does that mean 58% or 59% are going to see a decrease well, that their rates that they're not even talking about. That's going to be the big question because I've seen and the estimates are that somewhere between 35 to 45% of the drivers don't carry that At least that 2550. Okay. And so they're saying that population, you would only make sense? Well, you're absolutely have to see an increase. But the question is then people that have carried, and I've carried those limits you carry those well above those for all these years, is it going to now decrease for us? It should. Right. I mean, that the, the cited statistic had been the one that we and I just, you and I just discussed a 41 or 42%, that we're going to see an increase. I'm curious to see the 58. That should be receiving a decrease, right that, of course, if the insurance industry isn't mentioning it that leads me to believe that yes, in fact, 58%, we'll probably see a decrease. Yeah, you want to bet on that? Right. Our insurance bills are not going down. Okay. I go from they'll figure out a way I can promise you. That's, that's the other concern that I've seen is is so unfortunately, we live in a state right now, where about one in five drivers don't carry any insurance, despite what the law says. Right. So I think some of the concern with this was, well, we've already got one in five, and now you're going to make it more expensive for them. Are we going to see less, more drivers just not carry insurance? You know, David, that's, that's, um, that's a troubling question. And because yes, there are people that are out there struggling financially that do everything they can to hold on to a car, and now you're saddling them with a burden of perhaps an additional insurance cost, but I think it's the problem is really twofold. With the insurance one, there is no enforceability. Right. So how many times if, again, we've had people come into our office, we get a police report, insurance canceled insurance suspended. So a lot of times people will purchase that insurance policy in order to get the registration, make one payment on it? And then the insurance lapses, right. So yes, they are driving around without insurance, and perhaps their license will be suspended if they get pulled over. But there is no immediate enforcement. There's no mechanism by which the state actually enforces and tracks down people that are driving uninsured. So I think part of what needs to happen is yes, the first step is changing from the no fault system to the to mandatory bodily injury liability system. But to we have to do something about enforceability. I mean, you can't just make one payment on your insurance, get your registration, and then boom, that's it. Now you're uninsured again, because you're going to be in this vicious cycle of again, nobody having insurance, right. And we see save a lot, not just obviously, you have to have that to get registered. And you're right, there's no follow up on that. There's no annual the state doesn't say, you're required to send us proof of insurance. You had it when you registered the vehicle. And that's all that matters, right. You also see that a lot of time with leased vehicles, because the the companies that leased them require you to carry 100 300 most times. problem with that, again, they do it they lease the car, then there's no enforceability. To follow up to say, Are you maintaining that insurance on the vehicle? Right, I think with the lease, they might though, don't they have some some form of force place coverage? Once you get a letter, if you've got a leased vehicle that hey, we we received notice that your insurance is lapse, or they only going to put on comprehensive and collision? Or who knows? I don't know. I mean, they do that. Look, mortgage companies were very strong about that mortgage guys will do that, and put it in place and say, you know, because that's part of the contract, and it might be in the lease, part of contract says you have to show proof of insurance, right. But they're listed. And I know, I think the automobile carrier carriers are also listed. But again, I don't know if it's enforced, right? Because if it lapses, they're supposed to be listed on that policy, so they get notification. Correct. So the big thing is, you know, what's, what's going to happen with that? Let's talk a little bit about something you talked about this morning, right? traffic. One of it's one of the great, you know, favorable byproducts of the pandemic was traffic decreased dramatically. The only favorable thing about the pandemic was traffic. The I remember, I was making it to the office, you know, from avatar to brick wall. I was making it in 1520 minutes, no traffic, I was one of the, you know, few cars on the road, this morning gridlock. Yeah, well, it's, it's, it's back, it's back. So. So let's just talk about the averages. And How's this? If this changes, how's that going to affect them? You know, are you going to be required to go out and get that insurance now or, again, there's the there's the enforceability, right, I own my car, let's say I just carry PIP Now, obviously, that's not going to be sold anymore, right. Is it going to be how is the state going to require me to make sure that I've got that new insurance? You know, I don't know. I think we'll have to wait for the governor to sign the bill. And they should be there should be a date of enforceability on there. Right. And it doesn't it won't apply retroactively No. effect forward, usually October 1, right. Well, if he signs it, the law will go into place January 1. Okay, so well, we'll go into place January 1, so effective January 1. I think all those policies will then have to be amended I suspect to comply with the new law. So if you've got an old policy is set to expire in February or March, your policy would have to be amended to add bodily injury liability coverage and drop perhaps p IP coverage. Right. So the question is, is, is that something that's somehow going to be enforceable? I'm assuming I'm assuming the insurance companies are gonna have to notify you, right? Oh, by the way, that coverage doesn't exist anymore. Right. Here's the alternative. He was the alternative. Correct. But But whether that gets registered somehow by the state to be enforced? What's the same now? Right. So we often write when we get a police report, and we have a client come to our office who's involved in an accident. And on the police report, there's no insurance listed. We often write to the state of Florida and their their databases. candidly, you know, Department of Highway Safety and motor vehicles is really terrible. You know, we get insurance information for three years in the past, which I find hard to believe. I don't know how they're that it's far back. So I can't remember the last time we wrote to them and actually gotten valuable information back. Oh, I don't think I ever know this person does have insurance. And here's with who he has insurance greatly. It's, it's terrible. Yeah. I mean, we do the due diligence to try to find that. But yeah, I don't think I've ever had had a response that says, Yeah, here we go here. Yeah, we got in here. So if they don't have the information, or at least are providing, obviously they don't have it, because they're not providing it to us when we requested. That's where that's where it has to start. They have to get that information, and then then do something with it to notify people, we've received information that your policy has lapsed, if you don't get coverage right away. x y&z can happen to you, including suspension of your driving privileges, when i think i think that's going to be the biggest thing, because until there's some teeth in there, and people do start getting their license suspended for some period of time. It's a step in the right direction, for sure. But and then at some point, does it just make more sense for people to say, you know, what, between what I have to pay for my car, gas, registration, insurance, maintenance? Am I better off taking an Uber every day to work? I don't have to worry about parking, I don't have to worry about all those incidental expenses. I don't have the stress. You know what, maybe we'll just take an Uber everyday. And I think you're starting to see that. I mean, again, at least before the pandemic, and now I think you'll obviously see Uber and all of that coming back. But but the mindset of that generation is, what do I need to own a car? Correct. I mean, I have a car, pick me up, take me wherever I want, right. And I don't have any of the headache of it. And it's cheaper, right? It might be cheaper, depending obviously, on how far you live and what kind of car you drive. But it might be cheaper. And if you've got a couple of tickets on your license or had your license, suspended insurance is going to be expensive for you. So you might just say, forget it, it's not worth it. And this is not a paid endorsement for Uber or Lyft, or any any mode of public transportation. But I think what you've seen coming out of the pandemic is obviously car sales are through the roof, right. And I think people kind of want to drive their own car, or at least being an Uber by themselves. I don't think they want to be in public transportation if they can avoid it. Right. Which is, which is interesting, because again, a lot of the things with a pandemic, you see car sales for the roof, boat sales, people want a vehicle somehow to get outside of their home, and still be safe, correct? You know, I mean, I can sit my own car, I can drive and clear my head and knees and go from there. So well, interesting. So we see that shift. You know, it'll be interesting. And I think to follow, are we going to see a decrease for the people that have already carried those limits, and done the right thing and protected themselves? Or are we going to see the same? Yeah, like you said, I, I can't recall ever getting a decrease from my insurance carrier ever. Right? So at least give me one initially, let me let me get one at least the first time and then raise my rates. Let me for once again, decrease. But you're right. It'll be interesting to see what happens. We probably won't know for a couple years. But step one is getting it signed. I think it makes sense. It does make sense for sure. I think you're going to reduce the number of claims. For sure. Yeah, I it certainly I think makes sense. Because, again, if it's followed, and we don't see the number of totally uninsured people increase, you know, but if it's followed, yeah, there's coverage for people. In other words, you now have to be more accountable, you cause an accident, right? You're being accountable, saying, Okay, I'm providing these benefits, which again, in the vast majority of cases, hopefully should be adequate. You know, obviously, some it's not if you have a devastating injury or anything else. It's going to be a whole different animal. But but having people in short, I think is a benefit. And like we said it's twofold. It's one having that person insured but to you're cutting down the person that might not be injured, that has now been solicited, right to go to a clinic and start treating for the benefit of the clinic, and perhaps an illegal kickback. I'll use the word kickback or contribution to the alleged injured party. So just getting rid of that segment of the population getting rid of those cases has to be a tremendous benefit to the insurance carriers to the insurance companies. And that's and that's what most of the politicians have said, because because of the fraud, and and it is been a pretty rampant thing. Yeah. And and you're right, it's easy to see, you know, and it's, you know, if you go it's, you know, you sit in your doctor's office, you know, for half hour before seeing the dog, right, I've got TV on there. Yep. It's amazing the amount of clinics and everything else that are all advertising. And with with misleading commercials, since they're not regulated by the Florida Bar, right, the commercials tend to be misleading, and you may be entitled to $10,000. In benefits. How many times have you heard that? Right? You are not entitled to $10,000 in benefits, your doctor is going to be entitled to $10,000 you're not entitled to a penny of it. Yeah. But but they all think but they think, right? Well, you pick them up? And so yeah, well, we'll see that eliminated. And, and it was interesting, because I went back and I looked at the history of the whole p IP. And it was actually two professors in a Harvard Law Review. And the theory at the time, was that it would, it would decrease all of the claims because everybody had to have their own insurance. Okay. Which again, in theory sounds right. Except, you're now not, you're still having no responsibility for for what you've caught. Correct. So, so And again, it's just antiquated. I mean, it's a that goes back into the early 70s. Or when they started this. So the no fault, I think, when it was in 1982, I think was it amended in 82? I think it actually started 70s. But I think it was amended in 82. And yeah, I mean, we we haven't seen any significant change is a lot more about that those limits have been in place since at least 1982. Right? Those those limits of $10,000 for your own medical bills. And for property damage. Since 1982. Quite you tell me medical bills and expenses have gone up since 1981. Er, visit, you know, a couple of CAT scans in your visit, we've seen bills 40 $50,000 for a one day ER visit, right? So what are you accomplishing with $10,000? A tip absolutely nothing. Right. So now the question though becomes with hospitals, everything else, you know, what are they going to do when people don't have health insurance? Right. You know, I mean, is this now going to become more of a burden on on Jackson and everything else? Because, unfortunately, we've still got a lot of people don't have health insurance in this country? No, that's true. And I know the hospital lobby really was in favor of keeping the VIP system the way it was, because for them the reimbursement rate on the VIP claims was much greater than it was on some other health insurance. Well, yeah, I look at it at least they offered that ER visit, you know, initially when they came in, so they could do the scans and all that. So it'll be interesting seeing how that affects, right. Alright, so let's let's talk about, let's talk about your practice. You talked about getting into workers comp and pie. And that's what you've done your entire career. Well, yeah, that's how we started, I actually didn't do much of the worker's comp when I was working with, with my brother in law, I was doing the personal injury, they had a really nice personal injury firm, that I was able to step into a couple of his partners had left. So I was able to step in and had a lot of active cases. And I worked there. From 19. I started actually in law school. So probably started like in 1989, until I went out on my own in 1997. And when I went out on my own, again, started with just the auto cases, did some workers comp and then slowly transitioned into some more personal injury stuff, that negligence security stuff in the medical malpractice. So what gives you an it's easy, and we can all talk about all this the grind of practicing lawyers, but what gives you satisfaction in practicing law? I don't think it's a particular case. I think it's a it's a particular outcome for a particular client. So we do have occasions, you and I have had the occasion, right where you have been able to change someone's life. Unfortunately, those are cases where money is probably not going to fix the situation. Right? you've you've dealt with some devastating injuries. so short, short, and you've dealt with you have dealt with an injury with tragically injured brain injury to a young gal. So while you weren't able to bring her back to what she was like before, you know, you did everything possible to make her life going forward better, and without your help. She wouldn't be as well off as she is today. Right? 100% You and I had the same experience with our negligent security case. Granted, our client was a paraplegic, and he will never be able to live the life that he was living before. But we did everything possible to ensure that his life going forward was as good as it could be. And without our help, he wouldn't have as good a life as he has now. So those are the cases where Where you feel good at the end of the day, you feel sad for the person that's gone through the tragedy, because they're never gonna be able to get their life back. But you've done everything possible to give them the best possible life going forward. Well stated, and I think that is that is the joy in seeing what you've been able to do. And again, in the system we have, it's a compensation system, but you've given them the best opportunity and we see clients come back who are now Yeah, he's, he's, he's paraplegic, but but he's gotten businesses he's thriving. He's, you know, he's adapted in a situation where, in both the cases you've referenced, if we weren't able to do those things, I don't know if either one of them would still be alive today. Probably not. Right? Because I remember the one client that we're discussing the negligent security case, in this in the condition that we I'm gonna say the condition we found him. I remember when I first went to meet him, the physical condition that he was in his living conditions, they were horrible. I mean, they were somebody he was, he was living a life that he was destined for death. powerful stuff, and that's what makes Mark and I continue to go to the office every day and and we'll, we'll sit and watch with everybody else as these law, swimming, the governor signs it. That's going to be the law in Florida and big, big changes in automobile law. For the first time in a long time in Florida, but listen, been a pleasure. I think I'll see you at the office. But we'll be back next week. And we'll talk more about different aspects of law and and hopefully we've gotten more care off the, you know, first off, let's kill all the lawyers. So yes, have a great week, and we'll see you soon. Thank you, David. Attorney David Heffernan Kaire & Heffernan, LLC (305) 372-0123