Advocating for the average person in the personal injury field
[Mark Perenich & the Perenich Caufield Avril Noyes team]
Apart from being a law firm that has fought for and represented victims in Florida, since past many decades, we are also a firm that believes in protecting the rights of the citizens of Florida wherever they are being neglected or harmed. There are various issues for which reforms are needed and we, not only as Lawyers but also as common citizens support them.
It’s hard to believe but Florida is among the only two states in the country with no ‘Bodily Injury Liability Protection’. Currently financial responsibility that needs to be demonstrated by vehicle owners of private passenger cars is fulfilled by only two ‘Protections’, namely – Property damage liability protection & Personal Injury Protection. It is not required under law for a private passenger car owner to have Bodily injury liability protection i.e. if someone gets seriously injured due to their vehicle, the driver of the vehicle does not need to have Insurance for paying the compensation and other costs to the seriously injured victim.
We support the Financial Responsibility Legislation, which will make the present self-insurance requirements more secure and will require a private passenger car owner to have a minimum Bodily injury liability protection of $25,000 per person or $50,000 per incident. This legislation will help in reducing the insurance premiums paid by financially responsible car owners and will go on in ensuring that the taxpayers of Florida and the Trauma centers operating in the state of Florida save millions over the years.
Bad Faith Protection
When policyholders pay their premiums to insurance companies for liability policies, they are doing so to ensure that their business does not face a crisis or goes bankrupt if their business becomes liable to someone. Sometimes, the insurance companies fail to inform the policyholder regarding settlement in a case or simply refuse to accept reasonable settlements; basically they act in bad faith even though the laws in Florida require them to act in good faith to their policy holders.
We are against the bad faith that the Insurance companies demonstrate and also against the Insurance companies who do so. If the Insurance companies are allowed to evade their responsibility, it will possess a significant risk to businesses of Florida as businesses can face excess judgments because the Insurance companies didn’t do their Job properly or acted in bad faith.
Protection of Best Interest of Children Having Birth Related Neurological Injury
In 1988 Florida Legislature created NICA or (The Florida Birth-Related) Neurological Injury Compensation Association. It was created to provide benefits to children who had sustained a spinal cord or brain injury caused by mechanical injury or oxygen deprivation during labor, delivery, or in the immediate post-delivery period. The program was also created to avert an Insurance crisis being faced by Doctors and healthcare establishments practicing Obstetrics and as a mean to provide compensation on ‘no-fault’ basis to the class of children who suffered a significant Neurological Injury due to the reasons mentioned above and left the children “permanently and substantially mentally and physically impaired.”
The Florida Legislature had enacted Sections 766.301-766.316, Florida Statutes, to create NICA as a benefit program but today most of the executive staff and ‘board members’ in NICA are representatives from Healthcare and Insurance industries and not people from the affected families.
Needless to say, a conflict of interest exists between people who sit on NICA’s board and the people whose children suffer from birth related Neurological Injury, which can be seen from the numerous litigations in the past among the two parties who have now become ‘adversaries’.
We support the legislation that incorporates changes to the statues that govern NICA and make it a body that goes on to deliver on the promises it intended to and for which it was originally created.
Against the proposed curbs and limitations on Medical Payments
A victim who has been injured has all the rights to seek the best medical care possible but a bill was filed in 2013 according to which in a trial a jury will assess and grant past and future medical expense in cases of wrongful death and personal injury.
We are against the bill as the provisions in it are already fulfilled, Sections 501.1(a) and (b), Florida Standard Jury Instructions, state “you should award claimant an amount of money that the greater weight of the evidence shows will fairly and adequately compensate him/her for his/her loss, injury or damage, including any damage claimant is reasonably certain to have/experience in the future…” and section 501.2(b) states that a jury is to award, “the reasonable value or expense of hospitalization and medical and nursing care and treatment necessarily or reasonably obtained by claimant in the past or to be so obtained in the future.”
The only thing this bill will do is increase the cost of litigations especially for the plaintiffs who will have to bear additional expenses to get properly compensated for the medical expenses they bore and/or will bear in future.