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February 3rd, 2011

Will Trial Lawyers, Convened In Miami, Stand Against ‘PIP’ Fraud?

Citing a particular break-out session in the national trial lawyers convention slated to begin in Miami tomorrow (Feb. 4), American Tort Reform Association director of communications Darren McKinney today said: “With Florida struggling to contain a costly epidemic of insurance fraud, personal injury lawyers convening in Miami this week should be asked what steps they’re willing to take to help reduce such fraud.”

McKinney noted recent news reports and a statement by Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater that identify Florida as “No. 1 in the country in staged auto accidents,” as soaring personal injury protection (PIP) insurance premiums drive Tallahassee lawmakers toward reform legislation.

Meanwhile, the American Association for Justice, “formerly and more accurately known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America,” McKinney pointed out, will hold its winter convention in the heart of South Florida, a perennial “judicial hellhole,” at the Loews Hotel Miami Beach, from Friday through next Wednesday.

According to the AAJ’s website, one of the break-out sessions scheduled Saturday morning, “Proving Your Client’s Injuries in Connective Tissue/Whiplash/Slip and Fall Cases,” will include specific instruction on “Injuries Without Evidence: Proving Fault and Damages in the Connective Tissue Case.” 

“The media will be locked out, so we won’t know exactly what kind of instruction will be offered during this ‘injuries without evidence’ session,” McKinney continued.  “But state authorities say rampant PIP fraud is costing every honest policy holder in Florida about $400 in higher premiums a year.  So it certainly would be a welcomed development if the trial lawyers’ group, while there in Miami, at the very least issued a strong, unambiguous statement condemning PIP fraud racketeers.”

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