Last month, Governor Ron DeSantis approved House Bill 837 and Senate Bill 236, representing a significant change in Florida personal injury lawsuits, specifically Statutes of Limitations.
Supporters see it as a means to eliminate lawsuit abuse by limiting information to juries that would protect businesses from negligence. Additionally, enactments could address the problem of so-called “phantom damages” that increases medical expenses, reducing good faith dispute claims while eliminating the option of settlements.
Differing views and interpretations
Advocates also see the law as providing the accurate information necessary for juries to render more accurate judgments for damages. They foresee a continuing “cottage industry” of fraud and abuse when it comes to medical charges that impact countless Florida residents paying insurance premiums.
Opponents claim that insurance companies will benefit from certain protections, particularly when it comes to bad faith claims while limiting accident victims on what can be presented at trial if they lack insurance coverage or a physician’s letter of protection. In addition, statute limitations will go from four to two years for these types of claims.
For many enterprises, liability premiums have significantly increased, impacting the bottom line for business owners, with some being forced to close up shop due to what they considered frivolous lawsuits.
The bill also limits medical expenses to 1.4 times the Medicaid rate, potentially discouraging physicians from treatments and testimony.
Accidents that occur due to negligence carry life-changing consequences for victims. Holding parties responsible for reckless behavior, navigating through the process of a personal injury case necessitates legal representation from a skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced personal injury attorney.