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Florida Accident Law Has A Complicating Statute

The legal system is incredibly complex. And the interpretation and enforcement of laws and judgments can be so convoluted that it requires trained professionals just ensure that the requirements of the system are properly observed. But because of the complexities that are involved our laws, sometimes regulations arise that—even with the best of intentions—can often make a job more complicated than it needs to be.

In Florida, Statute 627.4136 is one of those things.

It’s not something that a client will ever have to know or worry about, but for the lawyer representing a client in a personal injury case, it is something that all Florida lawyers have to navigate as a tricky obstacle on the road to justice.

Better known as the “nonjoinder statute,” this regulation states that when someone goes to trial as the defendant in something like a personal injury case, that person alone is on trial, and no third parties can be involved or even mentioned regardless of their connection to the defendant, until after a verdict is reached.

In plain English, this means that if someone has injured you, and you take them to trial seeking a payout for personal injury, even if you are actually claiming insurance payments from defendant’s insurance company, the court must “pretend” that the person has no insurance, and cannot mention or connect that any insurance company is connected to or servicing that person.

The original rationale for this statute is that people believed that a person attending trial as a defendant should be considered as an individual, not an individual with the backing of a large insurance company behind them. It was felt that in conducting trials this way, defendants would not be prejudiced in the eyes of a jury. No one wanted a defendant to be viewed as merely an extension of a wealthy corporation with a lot of money in the background.

Unfortunately, for personal injury lawyers, this also means that lawyers can’t even acknowledge the existence of the insurance company, not even during direct questioning in the trial. For all intents and purposes, a defendant in court is uninsured and must be treated that way. An insurance company’s involvement—and subsequent financial commitment—can only be negotiated once a verdict has been reached, and the case is over.

This is yet another reason why, if you feel you are owed compensation for the injuries someone else’s negligence has inflicted on you, you should get the help of a professional. Sarasota lawyers like have years of experience dealing with Florida’s legal system, and they are well prepared to handle these unique challenges. If you try to represent yourself, thinking you can mention or involve a defendant’s insurance company in court, only to find that the basis for your entire argument is inadmissible, you’ve just put yourself in a very dangerous place to lose out on a case that has a huge impact on your future. Do the right thing, and come to the experts for these complex matters.