Should you Accept the Insurance Company's First Offer?

A Florida Jury Will Never Know That The Defendant Offered To Settle Your Personal Injury Case Before Trial

Posted by Guy DiMartino | Apr 15, 2013 | 0 Comments

Florida personal injury lawyer, Guy S. DiMartino, explains why the evidence rules do not allow the jury to find out that the defendant offered to settle a personal injury case before trial.

During settlement negotiations in any legal case the parties will concede certain points of contention.  For instance, the defendant's insurance adjuster or the defendant may say – “yes, I agree the defendant wasn't paying attention” or “the crash was my fault” or “I should have fixed the step.” The question becomes, if the case does not settle, why can't the jury know that the defendant conceded the point?  Wouldn't it make it easier to prove the case? The answer lies in Florida rule of evidence 408, which says:

Evidence of an offer to compromise a claim which was disputed as to the validity or amount, as well as any relevant conduct or statements made in negotiations concerning a compromise, is inadmissible to prove liability or absence of liability for the claim or its value.

The purpose of the Rule

In theory, the purpose behind the rule is to allow parties to a claim or lawsuit to have frank discussions regarding the pros and cons of their case, without it coming back to bite them in the future.  The rule is supposed to encourage settlement outside of the courtroom, which in turns frees up court time for cases in which the parties cannot come to a resolution.

In order for the rule to apply, there must be a dispute about who is responsible for the incident or the value of the person's injury.  If there is no dispute regarding these issues – then the rule doesn't apply.  But to tell you the truth, if there is no dispute over fault or the money that the injured person is entitled to receive, then the case is not going to trial.

Florida personal injury law can be complex.  If you have any questions about a Florida personal injury claim, you can always call me directly on my cell phone at (352) 267-9168 or fill out the internet consultation form on the right.

About the Author

Guy DiMartino

I have loved helping people in need for almost three decades.  It has been my privilege to serve people as their pastor, chiropractor, and lawyer.  The current focus of my legal practice and life’s passion is helping the seriously injured receive complete compensation for their injuries. I am a Florida Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney. What that really means is that I am no stranger to the courtroom.  I have successfully tried and handled serious cases in state and federal courts.  My backgrounds in both law and chiropractic medicine have given me a unique perspective, extensive knowledge, and wide experience to serve those I represent. For years as a chiropractic physician, I treated my patients to alleviate their pain and suffering. Now as their lawyer, I fight to bring them financial compensation for their pain and suffering. During my years of service, I have handled many traumatic injury cases ranging from the traumatic amputation of a limb to brain and spinal cord injury.  I consider it an honor to serve you and your family. When a person entrusts me and I accept to represent them, I don’t take that relationship and responsibility lightly. My approach is that we work as a team. We are partners and our goal is the best outcome for you and your family with the highest level of communication throughout. I am always available by phone or email to discuss my potential representation of your injury case. I handle cases throughout Florida. Education: National University of Health Sciences – BS (1984), DC (1986) Valparaiso University School of Law – JD, summa cum laude (1999) Bar Admissions: Florida (2000), Indiana (1999), Illinois (2000, expired); US District Courts of Appeals (11th Circuit, 7th Circuit); United States District Courts: Southern and Middle Districts of Florida; Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana; Northern and Central Districts of Illinois; and District of Colorado. Certification:  Civil Trial, Florida Bar Guy DiMartino on Google+ – Circle Guy on Google+ Guy DiMartino on Google+

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