Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed HB 837 into law to start the year’s legislative session. HB 837, also called the Civil Remedies Bill, has legal experts and legislators divided due to its intense and targeted tort reform measures.
A few important stipulations under HB 837 include:
- Elimination of attorney fee multipliers.
- Elimination of one-way attorney fees in most cases.
- Limitations on jury awards in many civil lawsuits.
- Implementation of comparative fault rule with 51% threshold.
- Limitations on premises liability lawsuits filed by criminal offenders.
- Clarification that says an insurance company is not acting in bad faith based on negligence alone.
- Reduction of general negligence case statutes of limitations to 2 years, down from 4 years.
Out of those changes, the two with the greatest ability to affect the average Floridian are the elimination of one-way attorney fees and the updated comparative fault rule. Without one-way attorney fees, plaintiffs in some civil cases will be unable to collect attorney fee payments as part of a successful settlement or verdict. With the new comparative fault rule, people who are found at least 51% liable for their own injuries and damages will be barred from making a recovery against the defendant.
Proponents of HB 837 argue that it will lower insurance and healthcare costs across the states by reducing the financial obligations of insurance companies and decreasing “frivolous” lawsuits. Opponents of HB 837 argue that it will incentivize insurance companies to deny and underpay claims and make it more difficult for victims of certain crimes to seek compensation through the civil justice system. So early in the law’s history, though, it is difficult to know how the law change will truly affect the tort system.
To learn more about HB 837, you can click here and visit an article posted by Florida Spectrum News 13. To stay informed about important Florida news that could affect you, especially if you need to file an injury claim, we invite you to visit the blog of Rosenberg & Rosenberg, P.A. often. We are proud to have represented the wrongfully injured in Florida for more than 50 years. For legal help with a case, call (888) 499-6206 – our phone lines are open 24/7!