Notably, a tort reform took place in the state of Florida on February 15, 2023. The bill was passed by the Florida House of Representatives and the Senate and subsequently was approved and signed by Governor Ron DeSantis. Read on to discover what updates come with the tort reform and how a seasoned Pasco County, Florida injury lawyer at Wendy Doyle-Palumbo, Esq. can help you understand how this applies to you.
What were Florida’s original statutes?
Previously, Florida was a pure comparative negligence state. This meant that even if a plaintiff is accused of being partially at fault for their personal injury accident, they may still recover damages at a reduced amount. For instance, if a plaintiff was found to be 10 percent to blame, they may still recover 90 percent of their damages.
Also, Florida used to follow a deadline, otherwise known as a statute of limitations, of four years for personal injury claims. This meant that a plaintiff has four years from the date of their accident to bring forward their lawsuit.
What are Florida’s updated statutes after the tort reform?
With the tort reform, the state of Florida is now supposed to follow a modified comparative negligence system. Meaning, if a plaintiff is accused of being more than 50 percent at fault for their personal injury accident, then they may not proceed forward with a personal injury claim.
In addition, the state of Florida has now tightened its deadline for personal injury claims to two years. Meaning, if a plaintiff does not file their claim within two years of their accident, then they may permanently lose their opportunity to sue and recover their damages.
What are other updates from the tort reform?
Besides the contributory negligence and statute of limitations updates, many other updates come with this tort reform. Just some examples include the following:
- This reform requires that an insured, a claimant, or a representative of the insured or claimant act in good faith regarding supplying information, making demands, setting deadlines, and attempting to settle the claim, among other things.
- This reform requires that certain disclosures regarding claims for medical expenses for treatment be rendered under letters of protection.
- This reform removes the attorney-client privilege for medical referrals.
- This reform creates a limited ability to recover attorney’s fees from an insurance company after a total coverage denial via a declaratory judgment action.
As you can likely conclude, this tort reform has created historical changes to the state of Florida’s civil litigation. And if you were planning to file a personal injury claim in the upcoming future, you may be second-guessing yourself. Rest assured, a competent Pasco County, Florida injury lawyer will help you fully understand these updated statutes. So give our firm a call today. We look forward to speaking with you.