As a general rule, litigants in Florida car accident cases must raise any issues they have with the trial court’s decisions at the moment a decision is made. Similarly, when responding to a claim or allegation, a party should be sure to make all relevant arguments at that time. Otherwise, a court may consider the argument waived.
The purpose of the waiver rule is to encourage efficient resolution of cases. If, for example, a party were able to raise any issue at any time, courts would find themselves dealing with a never-ending series of motions and requests as the parties came up with new versions of old arguments. Instead, Florida court rules require that parties bring everything they have upfront so that the judge can make one informed decision that will not need to be revisited, absent a legal error. A recent Florida personal injury case illustrates this concept.
The plaintiff was injured when another motorist struck her vehicle. The other motorist did not have sufficient insurance coverage to fully compensate the plaintiff for the injuries she sustained. The plaintiff, however, was covered under two other insurance policies: an Allstate policy in her mother’s name and a Geico policy in her father’s name. The Allstate policy provided $5,000 more in coverage than the Geico policy.