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Why Can’t We Talk About Insurance? Florida’s Secret Dirty Word.

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Many people do not know that here in Florida “Insurance” is a dirty word. That’s right, the word itself is so taboo in injury cases that courtroom discussions regarding insurance coverage can be an actual minefield. Many people have no idea that if their lawyer so much as mentions the word “insurance” or “coverage” in a courtroom in the presence of a jury that they will not only subject you to a mistrial of your case but will also likely be subjecting themselves to personal sanctions.

Most (if not all) attorneys who handle personal injury cases in the State of Florida do so on a purely contingent basis. What this means is that the attorney does not get paid AT ALL unless they are successful in securing a monetary settlement for their client. What this also means is that it is very unlikely that a personal injury lawyer would pursue a case where there is no reasonable chance of securing a monetary settlement for their client because that means that NO ONE would get paid. Therefore, if a case gets to trial, you can be rest assured that there is most definitely insurance coverage which will cover the damages of the injured party.

So, if there is insurance coverage, then why can’t we talk about it?

Of course, the presence of insurance coverage is an important one, as juries are often afraid to award money if they think that the person will be stuck paying anything personally, especially if the trial falls around Christmas!

People will often hear the justification for the “no mention of insurance rule” as preventing prejudice to a party (i.e., the defendant/insurance company) and/or potentially leading to unjust outcomes. However, the only unjust outcome that likely occurs when the jury does not get to hear the truth about insurance coverage is that the person who was injured does not receive fair compensation for their injuries.

For attorneys practicing in Florida, adhering to the prohibition on mentioning insurance coverage requires strategic planning and effective communication and can be downright frustrating.

Here’s why:

Perception of Limited Compensation: When insurance coverage is off-limits as a topic in court, there is a strong likelihood that jurors will underestimate the defendant’s ability to cover damages, which will result in a much lower, and in many cases, unfair award.

Transparency and Accountability: Knowing the extent of the defendant’s insurance coverage is crucial for the jury in understanding the potential resources available to cover an injured person’s medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

Fairness Concerns: The prohibition on mentioning insurance coverage is a shield to defendants for paying for the full and true consequences of their actions.  This is especially unfair in cases where the injuries are severe and the need for compensation is great.

The above factors play an important role in whether taking a case to trial is the right decision, as many lawyers know that without an insurance company as a named Defendant, that juries are reluctant to award damages when they believe, even if incorrectly, that they will be assessing a damage award against an individual personally.

So just remember, the next time you are called upon to be on the jury for a civil trial, that just because no one talks about insurance does not mean that there isn’t any. There likely is, we just aren’t allowed to say so.

Vanessa Castro Viera
Vanessa Castro Viera
November 3, 2023
I had the privilege of working with Kelli Martinez as my personal injury attorney, and I can't express enough how grateful I am for her exceptional guidance and support throughout the entire process. From the moment I first contacted her to the conclusion of my case, Kelli demonstrated an unwavering commitment to ensuring my rights were protected and that I received the compensation I deserved. I highly recommend her to anyone seeking legal representation for personal injury cases.
Jen Wiradilaga (SWFL Horses)
Jen Wiradilaga (SWFL Horses)
October 19, 2023
I am so pleased with the service and care Mr. Murphy has shown. Always has time for a phone call , emailed questions are answered so quickly , it is refreshing. I had guidance every step of the way. My Case was settled quickly and effectively. Everyone that is in this off is is exceptional! Thank you so much
amanda reese
amanda reese
October 17, 2023
Mr. Murphy and his team were amazing to work with. In a stressful situation they were on top of making sure I understood my options and walking me through the process when I’d stress out. He fought to make sure I was fairly treated and not just another person swept under the rug and forgot about. I highly recommend him if you ever need and hope to have a timely resolution and team that is top notch.
Ana Maria Araujo
Ana Maria Araujo
October 12, 2023
I am very grateful to Ed Murphy for accepting my case against work compensation, otherwise I wouldn't have had another doctor for a second examination and I would have been at home without being able to work again. I am thankful for all the work Ed and his assistant Jessica have done in my case. I am very happy with the service, every time I called I was treated very nicely by the front desk staff, Kelly. Thanks
Carlene Overacker
Carlene Overacker
October 6, 2023
I highly recommend Mr. Murphy. He immediately responded to the issues I was having with my workers compensation case. He reached out to me in a timely manner. I was always able to get ahold of him via the phone and emails. I never felt rushed in our meetings and conversations. He was professional and courteous. I am very satisfied how quickly I received my settlement.
Erica Aghoian
Erica Aghoian
September 22, 2023
I highly recommend contacting Ed Murphy with your worker's compensation case. From day one he took the time to explain all aspects of the case, listened to my questions and concerns, and kept me up-to-date as the case progressed. I believe he was able to achieve the best possible outcome with my case, and I couldn't be happier to have worked with him. I had never hired an attorney before, but he immediately put me at ease and had my trust. Great experience from start to finish!
Patricia Lara
Patricia Lara
September 12, 2023
I can't say enough how much help Ed Murphy was during such a difficult situation. From day one he was understanding and made us feel at ease. He helped us achieve the most positive out come in our law suit with workers comp. If you ever need assistance I highly recommend contacting Ed Murphy!
Trust Cleaning Inc
Trust Cleaning Inc
August 15, 2023
This message is for anyone who needs a good lawyer, I recommend Ed Murphy because he is a professional and patient person, he fights until the end of his case or any type of case, I recommend him to everyone 100% . there is no other attorney like ed murphy i just have to say thank you so much for helping me with my accident case.

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