On March 24, 2023, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Florida House Bill 837 in to law. The new law has major alterations to personal injury claims that will impact Florida claimants. While Florida House Bill 837 had honorable goals to stabilize the insurance market and allegedly bring down the cost of insurance for Floridians. It has been a law since March but have you received any discounts on your insurance policies? We didn’t think so… The reality is that this law will make it more difficult for the injured to collect the damages they deserve and so far, we haven’t seen any reduction in premiums. The insurance companies are the only ones benefitting from this awful piece of legislation.
Some key changes:
- The statute of limitations in personal injury cases was reduced from four years to two years. A statute of limitation creates the time you have from the date of an injury or accident to take legal action. This change highlights how crucial it is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer quickly after an accident or injury. Waiting too long to reach out to an attorney could harm your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
- “Comparative Negligence” has been modified. Previously, if you were partially at fault, you could receive damages based on your degree of fault as compared to the other party. Under the new law, if you are found to be 51% or more at fault you will be unable to recover any damages at all.
- Drastic change to negligent security claims. Negligent security actions are typically filed against businesses or property owners when they fail to provide adequate security, which leave guests vulnerable to criminal attacks. Under the new law, there is a shift in responsibility and legal liability to the criminal wrongdoer, reducing the property owner’s liability, which makes these claims MUCH more difficult to collect on and may even discourage property owners from ever bothering to implement adequate security measures.
- Attorney Fee awards. Attorneys’ fees are no longer awarded to plaintiffs that are successful in suing insurance companies for failing to properly pay PIP benefits in most circumstances. This means that in most cases, it will not be practical to sue an insurance company for failing to do what they should do. This hurts the consumer and allows the carriers to get away with essentially refusing to pay what they are obligated to pay.
Regardless of what the future holds, you can trust Freeman Injury Law to stay on top of this new law and aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve. We understand that the changes can be daunting. However, it is important to understand that while this legislation has altered the landscape of personal injury, it has not eliminated the possibility of pursuing a personal injury claim. You should always consult an attorney who can evaluate the specifics of your case. You deserve clear and honest communication, and our team at Freeman Injury Law has been offering that to our clients for over twenty years.
If you have been injured in an accident or have questions regarding a claim, call us today for a free consultation. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about the changes and would be honored to represent you.