Florida personal injury lawyer, Guy S. DiMartino, explains why the insurance company's offer to pay medical bills is not admissible in trial.
It's a common occurrence. A person is injured in an accident and the defendant or the defendant's insurance company offers to pay the injured person's medical bills. The injured person doesn't accept the offer or negotiations break down.
The average person would say that it is logical that the defendant be questioned in trial about his offer to the pay the injured person's medical bills. The inference is that if the person offered to pay the medical bills that he or she is accepting responsibility for the incident. In trial, however, the parties are bound by the rules of evidence and the rules do not allow this type of questioning. Florida Rule of Evidence 409 says:
Evidence of furnishing, or offering or promising to pay, medical or hospital expense or other damages occasioned by an injury or accident is inadmissible to prove liability for the injury or accident.
The rule is based on the public policy of Florida that an individual should not be penalized for acting humane or in a merciful manner. Do you think that is what the insurance company is doing? Acting humane?
Sometimes the law seems unfair to personal injury claimants. These are rules and the law that we have to abide by, which is why, Florida personal injury law can be complex.
If you have any questions about a Florida personal injury claim, you can call me directly on my cell phone at (352) 267-9168 or fill out the internet consultation form on the right.
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