It has long been the general rule in Florida that no reference be made to the wealth or poverty of a party to a personal injury lawsuit. The idea is to prevent juries from favoring the poor over the wealthy, and rendering verdicts based soley upon one side's ability to pay. In negligence trials, the jury is not permitted to know that the defendant has insurance, or the amount of coverage available. In many trials, the defendant who sits before the jury is represented by an attorney who has been appointed and paid for by their own insurance company. The jury will make their own conclusions about the defendant throughout the trial, which may include incorrect impressions about their ability to pay a large verdict despite instruction from the Judge to the contrary.
Future medical treatments for Florida victims of automobile accidents were affected by the First District Court of Appeal's decision on October 23rd, 2013. The First DCA in Tallahassee upheld the decades-old Personal Injury Protection (PIP) law for automobile accident victims. This will ensure that Florida remains a no-fault state, meaning insurance companies will cover accident victims regardless of fault in the accident. However, which medical providers people choose may be affected.