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Florida Senate Approves House Bill 837 Tort Reform for 2023

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florida house bill 837
florida house bill 837

Florida House Bill 837: What You Need to Know

If you are a resident of Florida, you may have heard about House Bill 837. Governor Ron DeSantis signed this bill into law in March 2023. The bill is a comprehensive tort reform package that affects civil litigation in Florida. The bill aims to protect businesses, property owners, and corporations. It aims to prevent them from paying excessive damages in lawsuits.

florida house bill 837
florida house bill 837

House Bill 837 contains sweeping changes. It affects the standard of comparative negligence. It affects the statute of limitations. It affects the admissibility of evidence. It affects the duty of insureds. It affects the bad faith action. The Florida Senate hopes this bill will reduce frivolous lawsuits. It also aims to protect the rights of businesses and property owners.

If you are interested in learning more about the specifics of House Bill 837, keep reading. In this article, we will provide an overview of the bill and analyze its impact on negligence and liability. We will also discuss how the bill affects insurance and damages, and answer some frequently asked questions about the new law.

Key Takeaways

  • House Bill 837 is a comprehensive tort reform package. It affects civil litigation in Florida.
  • The bill aims to protect businesses, property owners, and corporations. It aims to shield them from paying excessive damages in lawsuits.
  • House Bill 837 contains sweeping changes. It affects the standard of comparative negligence, statute of limitations, admissibility of evidence, duty of insureds, and bad faith action.

Overview of Florida House Bill 837

If you are a resident of Florida, you may have heard about House Bill 837, which was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis in March 2023. The bill, also known as “Civil Remedies,” is a tort reform bill. It has significant implications for the state’s civil litigation landscape.

Key Provisions and Objectives

House Bill 837’s main goal is to reform the state’s tort system. It plans to do this by limiting the damages that can be awarded in personal injury cases. The bill also seeks to reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits filed in the state. It does this by placing limits on attorney fees and imposing stricter requirements for filing certain types of claims.

One of the key provisions of the bill is the introduction of comparative negligence. This means that damages will be reduced in proportion to the plaintiff’s degree of fault. The bill also includes changes to the statute of limitations for medical damages claims. It provides guidelines for calculating medical damages.

Impact on Tort Reform

House Bill 837 has been hailed as a significant victory for tort reform advocates in Florida. The bill is expected to reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits filed in the state. This will help to alleviate the burden on the state’s court system.

However, some critics argue that the bill will limit injured individuals’ ability to seek compensation. The bill’s opponents also argue that it will make it more difficult for individuals to find attorneys willing to take on their cases. The bill places limits on attorney fees.

Overall, House Bill 837 represents a significant shift in Florida’s civil litigation landscape. Whether you are a plaintiff or a defendant in a personal injury case, it is important to understand the implications of this new law. You need to understand how it may impact your case.

Detailed Analysis of Negligence and Liability

florida house bill 837
florida house bill 837

Comparative Negligence Framework

Passage of HB 837 transforms Florida from a pure comparative negligence system. It changes to a modified comparative negligence one. Under the original fault apportionment rule, an injured plaintiff could recover based on his share of responsibility. This share was determined by fact finder. Under the new comparative fault structure, a plaintiff cannot recover if his percentage is greater than 50%. When the plaintiff’s percentage of fault is 50 % or more, they cannot recover.

Changes to Negligence Claims

There is also a change in the way that negligence claims can be considered under this new modified comparative structure. The term of limitation for negligence actions is reduced from four to two years. This reduced statute of limitations only refers to actions accruing after this act comes into effect. Furthermore, the new law in Florida establishes a rebuttable presumption. In most civil actions, the lodestar fee is an adequate and reasonable attorney’s fee. In other words, the court will see all attorney’s fees claimed by a winning party as reasonable. It is left to the opposing side to prove otherwise.

Implications for Plaintiffs and Defendants

The new modified comparative negligence framework has significant implications for both plaintiffs and defendants. For plaintiffs, it is now more difficult to recover damages in negligence actions. Plaintiffs must prove that their percentage of fault is less than 50% to recover damages. The new framework provides a presumption against liability for defendants. It applies if the plaintiff’s percentage of fault is 50% or more. This means that the defendant is less likely to be found liable and may not have to pay damages.

Another significant implication of the new law in Florida is the amount of damages for past medical expenses. The new law in Florida requires the trier of fact to consider the fault of all persons who contributed to the injury or damages. This is when calculating medical damages. This means that the plaintiff’s share of medical expenses may be reduced if they were partially at fault for their injuries.

Finally, the new law in Florida provides standards for bad faith actions. Negligence is insufficient to constitute bad faith (including in common law cases). This means that plaintiffs must prove more than negligence. They have to do this to bring a bad faith action against an insurer.

HB 837 represents a new modified comparative negligence framework. It significantly changes the way negligence claims are evaluated in Florida. The new framework has implications for both plaintiffs and defendants and requires careful consideration when evaluating negligence claims.

Insurance and Damages

If you are involved in a personal injury case in Florida, it’s crucial to understand the insurance policy limits and bad faith. Under HB 837, insurers must handle claims in good faith. Negligence alone is not enough to constitute insurance bad faith. This means that if you are dealing with an insurance company that is acting in bad faith, you may be able to recover damages beyond the policy limits.

Insurance Policy Limits and Bad Faith

In the past, insurers could limit the amount of damages paid out to policyholders by invoking the policy limit. Under the new law, policy limits or the amount demanded by the claimant may no longer be used as a defense against claims for bad faith. This means that insurers may be held liable for damages that exceed the policy limit if they act in bad faith.

Medical Expenses and Future Damages

Under the new law, the statute of limitations for general negligence claims has been reduced from four years to two years. This means that if you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, you have two years to file a claim. Additionally, the law now requires medical providers to give a letter of protection to the injured party’s law firm when treating them. This letter of protection ensures that the medical provider will be paid from any settlement or judgment obtained by the injured party.

When calculating medical damages, the law now requires that past medical expenses be calculated at the actual amount paid. This is instead of the amount billed. Future medical expenses must be calculated based on the Medicare reimbursement rate in effect at the time of the injury.

If you are dealing with a personal injury case in Florida, it is important to understand the new laws. These laws affect insurance and damages. By understanding the changes to the law, you can better protect your rights. You can also ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

What changes does the Florida House Bill 837 introduce to the state’s tort system?

The Florida House Bill 837, also known as the Civil Remedies bill, introduces several changes to the state’s tort system. One of the most significant changes is the creation of a rebuttable presumption. It says the lodestar fee is a sufficient and reasonable attorney fee in most civil actions. The bill also reduces the statute of limitations for negligence actions. It also provides standards for bad faith actions. Also, the bill provides for distributing proceeds when two or more third-party claims from a single event exceed policy limits.

Has the Florida House Bill 837 been officially passed into law?

Yes, the Florida House Bill 837 was officially passed into law on March 24, 2023, when Governor Ron DeSantis signed it. The bill was passed by the Florida Senate in a 23 to 15 vote on March 23, 2023.

Does House Bill 837 apply retroactively to cases prior to its enactment?

No, House Bill 837 does not apply retroactively to cases prior to its enactment. The bill’s provisions apply only to causes of action that accrue on or after the effective date of the bill.

How does HB 837 modify the comparative negligence rules in Florida?

HB 837 modifies the comparative negligence rules in Florida. The court must reduce the damages awarded. The reduction is in proportion to the percentage of fault attributed to the plaintiff. The bill also provides that the plaintiff’s recovery is barred if the plaintiff’s percentage of fault is greater than the combined percentage of fault of all other persons who contributed to the injury or damages.

What is the effective date of the tort reform bill enacted in Florida in 2023?

The effective date of the tort reform bill enacted in Florida in 2023 is July 1, 2023. This means that the bill’s provisions will apply to causes of action that accrue on or after July 1, 2023.

Florida House Bill 837 tort reform?

Yes, Florida House Bill 837 is a tort reform bill. It introduces several changes to the state’s tort system. This includes creating a rebuttable presumption. The lodestar fee is usually a sufficient and reasonable attorney fee in most civil actions. It also reduces the statute of limitations for negligence actions. It provides standards for bad faith actions.

Florida House Bill 837 signed

Yes, the Florida House Bill 837 was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis on March 24, 2023. The bill’s provisions will become effective on July 1, 2023.

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