Auto Accident Attorney Robert Joyce Says Insurers Should Not Require Sworn Statements From Injured Parties
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 27, 2013 - The Florida Supreme Court ruled that Geico could not require a sworn statement before paying its customer for her injuries.
Plaintiff Merly Nunez prevailed in her suit against the auto insurance company in the 5-2 decision. The majority said that requiring an examination under oath was “unreasonable and unnecessary” and that the law in effect at the time of Nunez's claim did not allow such a requirement. The law has since been altered, however.
“A no-fault insurance system like Florida's PIP – personal injury protection – is supposed to get benefits to the injured quickly,” said Tampa auto accident lawyer Robert Joyce. “Requiring a sworn statement can cause delays.”
Those statements echoed the majority's opinion, which said that quick resolution of injury claims is a goal of PIP, and requiring an examination under oath contravenes the purpose of the statute.
The two justices in the minority, however, disagreed. They said that sworn statements exist to ensure that the swift payments that PIP provides go only to those who are legally entitled to them.
In 2012, Florida lawmakers overhauled the state's PIP laws and specifically allowed insurers to require examinations under oath. The revised law took effect on January 1, 2013. The Supreme Court's ruling therefore only applies to cases that arose prior to that date, such as that of Nunez.
Despite this larger victory for the insurance industry, the Nunez case was still a cause for great concern for insurers. The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, the Florida Insurance Council, and Allstate Insurance Co. all signed onto briefs filed in the case, claiming to have a significant volume of PIP claims that would be affected by the decision.
“I do not believe that an injured and insured auto accident victim should have to endure an examination under oath in order to recover benefits under a no-fault system,” added Joyce. “However, that is now clearly the law. Having the counsel of an experienced auto accident attorney is a major benefit during such an examination. You want to recover your benefits and move on with your life without getting tripped up on legal technicalities. A good attorney can help you do that.”
Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave,
Tampa, FL 33606
View Larger Map
- Florida man sentenced in pill mill case
A Florida man was sentenced to 44 months in prison and three years of supervised release for unlawfully operating a pill mill in Georgia that made over $1.8 million. Marc Frazier was also ordered to give up assets of more than $500,000 from the pill mill. The “pain management clinic” known as Apex Health & […]
- Florida appeals court sides with Tampa General Hospital in medical malpractice case
An appeals court upheld a ruling shielding Tampa General Hospital from potential medical malpractice liability in a case over a patient who died during surgery. The 2nd District Court of Appeal upheld a ruling by a circuit judge granting summary judgment to Tampa General Hospital. The appeals court agreed with the judge on the central […]
- Two Florida doctors to begin serving pill mill sentences
Two Florida doctors must begin serving their prison sentences in October, three years after their convictions on money laundering charges related to a chain of Florida pill mills, a federal judge ruled. Cynthia Cadet must turn herself in to begin serving a 6 1/2 year sentence on Oct. 3, while Joseph Castronuovo was given until […]