Many people who find themselves victims of auto accidents may be wondering whether they should make an appointment with their local chiropractor before seeking a personal injury attorney, but what happens when the victim is the chiropractor? According to Lawrence Herman, it means attempting to submit phony chiropractic records to receive compensation for treating injuries that didn’t exist.
Herman, a chiropractor in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, had filed an insurance claim in May 2012 requesting thousands of dollars in compensation for injuries he suffered as a result of a car accident the previous August. Herman claimed that he had required chiropractic treatments for lower back and neck injuries after the crash, but it appears that the crash was a “minor, fender-bender type accident” and didn’t cause any significant injuries. Furthermore, the prosecution has produced evidence that Herman was in fact participating in multiple foot marathons during the time period that had supposedly been spent in medical treatment. Herman had used an employee at his practice to help create fake records to submit to his insurance company, and although he pleaded guilty at the hearing, Herman attempted to diffuse responsibility by blaming his employee, the attorneys who created the settlement demand, and a multitude of other personal circumstances like work pressures and a divorce.
The irony of the whole situation seems to be the driving force behind this story. It doesn’t take an expert to see that false claims like this one could be making it more difficult for actual victims of auto accidents to collect the compensation they rightly deserve.
Herman’s attorney stressed that this one a one-time offense that arose from a “fortuitous opportunity” and that Herman had already suffered a great deal of emotional and professional pain due to his mistake. The court appears to have not agreed with Herman’s attorney and it sentenced him to five months in prison, five subsequent months of home confinement, and a $600 fine. The Pennsylvania state chiropractic board also appears to be taking actions to either suspend or entirely revoke Herman’s chiropractic license.