While driving to work today, I was listening to AM 820 when the host Chris Markowski decided to attack people who file claims after car accident and their attorneys. He proclaims our Florida legal system as horrible and the reason why it costs so much to drive in Florida is because of all the lawsuits. He professes that Florida should do “what Great Britain does” and have a “loser pay system.” First of all, if you like our State, move! Secondly, get your facts correct before making such ridiculous statements on the radio.
If someone is injured in a car accident and has to file a lawsuit because the insurance company refuses to properly evaluate the claim (nobody wants to file a lawsuit—insurance companies make people file lawsuits), Florida law states that they run the risk of having to pay the insurance company’s attorneys’ fee and costs if they lose. Read Florida Statute 768.79 Mr. Markowski!
Florida Statute 768.79 is Florida’s Loser Pays statute. Under this Offer of Judgment and Demand for Judgment law, if a defendant files an offer which is not accepted by the plaintiff within 30 days, “the defendant shall be entitled to recover reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees incurred” from the date of filing of their offer if the judgment obtained by the Plaintiff is at least 25 percent less than the rejected offer. Thus, if the defendant offers to pay $10,000.00 to settle the case and the jury comes back with a net judgment (after offsets) of $7,499.00 or less, the Plaintiff would be required to pay the other side’s attorneys’ fees and costs. Sounds like a “loser pay system” to me, Mr. Markowski!
This law if a powerful tool used by big insurance companies against the individual car accident victim. No one injured in a car accident wants to end up with outstanding medical bills, unpaid lost wages and also the at-fault driver’s attorneys’ fees and costs. If the insurance company doesn’t beat a Proposal for Settlement, it is the cost of doing business and is passed on to the consumers. If an individual does not beat a Proposal for Settlement, it could financially destroy him or her.
I understand that it is easy to pick on those injured in car accidents and those firms that saturate TV and radio with commercials. Remember, those advertisers help pay your paycheck, Mr. Markowski! Also, I understand that radio personalities pick topics to get the crowd wound up. I don’t have a problem with that either, but get your facts correct because otherwise you lose credibility to those who know the facts and are simply misleading those that are not familiar with the facts.
This “pond scum” as Mr. Markowski calls us personal injury attorneys is proud to help those injured in car accidents, slip and falls and other types of negligence. At least I correctly educate my audience!
Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those injured in car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and other types of personal injury matters. His Clearwater law firm – Perenich Caulfield Avril Noyes – is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Pinellas County. Call Attorney Matthew Noyes now at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.