Friday marked the advancement of HB 837 ( the “Tort Reform” bill) following six weeks of the House Civil Justice Subcommittee preparing for the annual legislative session, and attorneys across Florida are concerned with what could be coming in Florida law. The bill received bipartisan opposition, as well as public opposition, due to it being seen as a threat to the civil justice system in our state and an attack on the rights of Floridians throughout the state, including Tampa.
Why is HB 837 so strongly opposed by not just Brooks Law Group, but many of our fellow lawyers? Well, the primary concerns with the bill are actually broken into six individual provisions that would likely have negative ramifications for victims. Those are:
- Bad Faith Reform. This would take away safeguards that protect insurance policyholders from greedy insurers and require the insurance companies to treat their clients fairly.
- New caps on medical damages. Juries would no longer have access to information regarding the (actual) cost of medical expenses.
- Attorney Fees Reform (627.428). This repeal would remove a 60 year protection for insurance clients, leaving them subject to having their claims delayed, denied, or underpaid.
- Florida becoming a Contributory Negligence Standard. What does that mean? Essentially, the provision would move Florida to a contributory negligence standard of fault from a comparative fault standard.
- Removal of negligent security safeguards. Destroys the protections that were put into place for the safety of employees and patrons of businesses.
- Cutting the statute of limitations by half. This self-explanatory provision is devastating to Florida victims, and would drop the statute of limitations in negligence cases from 4 years down to 2.
We understand, the legal jargon in these provisions listed above might not be fully understood by Florida citizens, and therefore might not seem very serious to you. However, the passing of this bill could prove devastating to victims who find themselves facing a case. For victims in and around the Tampa area, Brooks Law Group is here to answer any of your questions about this bill, and what it could mean for you. Accidents don’t discriminate, and neither do we! We are your Tampa legal team committed to equal legal representation for ALL clients. You deserve to be seen, heard, and respected, and that’s what you can count on when you trust us with your case. Call for your free, no-obligation consultation and find out how we can help you get the justice you deserve and the compensation you need to move forward.
When accidents happen, or changing laws raise questions, you know you can always Look to Brooks!