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Ed Normand
Ed Normand
Attorney • (866) 735-1102 Ext 336

Laws Hide Insurance Coverage From Juries

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In Florida and many other states there is a little known law that prevents juries evaluating a civil case from knowing about the existence of insurance. Whether or not someone is insured and how much insurancethey have can never be revealed to the jury. The law is called the non-joinder statute.

The purpose of the law is debatable. Some argue that a jury is likely to make an award if they know there is insurance and therefore, the availablility of insurance coverage should be hidden from them. The argument here is that the law is neutral. Others believe that in actuality it results in unfair awards because jurors often mistakenly conclude that there is no insurance and so they will award nothing so that the assumed poor defendant does get stuck with personal liability.

The law hides the presence of insurance in all types of claims including auto accidents, medical malpractice and product liability. When one is suing, say Wal-Mart, the knowledge of the presence or lack of insurance will not really matteras most jurors would recognize such a defendant has the ability to pay. When the claim involves a physician in a malpractice case or a sweet grandmother motorist, however, jurors are likely to fear for the defendant and fail to make an award of justified damages to protect the seemingly uninsured defendant.