Why Are They Subtracting $10,000 From My Jury Verdict?
Because of Florida's NO Fault law, the auto insurance carrier for the people injured in an automobile crash will frequently pay up to $10,000 in so called Personal Injury Protection benefits for medical expenses and lost wages. ( See "Why Do I have to use my Insurance?"). As a consequence, Florida's Supreme Court has held that the at fault party, and their insurance carrier, do not have to pay for any medical expenses or lost wages in the past that have been paid by the injured party's own PIP insurance coverages. The Court concluded that to allow an injured party to receive the benefit of the PIP payments for their expenses and then also receive money from the at fault persons' insurance company for those same expenses would result in a "windfall" or a double recovery to the injured person. This windfall would occur because the injured party is not required to repay their own auto insurance company for those same PIP benefits out of any settlement or verdict. As a result, every insurance company that negotiates a settlement with an injured party always deducts the amount of the PIP benefits (up to $10,000 PIP limits) from any offer to settle. Likewise, the law allows that same insurance carrier to deduct PIP benefits paid from any jury verdict.