How Does this 2023 New Law Affect EVERY Person Injured in Florida?
Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed a bill into law that could affect every person injured in Florida from this point on. Although the Governor’s office labels this new law as “legal reform,” it can translate into reduced opportunities for Floridians who are injured by others.
It is important to understand the terms and how they affect your right to recovery after a car accident or other incident where someone’s negligent actions cause injuries.
Need to File Lawsuits Sooner
One vitally important aspect of the new law is that it drastically shortens the statute of limitations for legal claims based on negligence. Instead of having four years to recover, prepare a claim, and file a lawsuit, now accident victims must fully prepare and file their claims within two years of the incident that gave rise to the claim.
This gives those suffering from injuries much less time to investigate into the cause of the incident. Even worse, people who are suffering from serious injuries will be rushed through the claims process. They will not have time to assess their full level of recovery and accurately anticipate future needs. Instead, our legal team will need to estimate recovery levels, future medical care, the effect on earning potential, and other long term effects to a much greater extent than in the past. Because of this change, it is crucial to start working with an attorney as soon as possible if you even think there is a possibility that you will have a legal claim after an accident.
Alteration in Comparative Negligence Rule
The portion of the law that has probably received the most attention is the change in the comparative negligence rule in Florida. Before the change, an accident victim could recover compensation for their losses even if some of their actions contributed to the cause of the incident that led to their injuries.
Now, if the court finds that their actions were more than 50% of the cause of the incident, they cannot recover anything toward the cost of their injuries. It can be very difficult to determine exactly which actions triggered an accident, and to assess the exact degree of blame for an incident. If the court gets it wrong, even to a tiny degree, victims can be left with nothing.
It is now critically important to collect as much evidence as possible to demonstrate every aspect of liability in a personal injury case. THIS IS WHY EVERYONE NEEDS TO HAVE A DASH CAM IN THEIR CAR!!
Insurance Companies Not Held to the Same Standards
The law also makes it more difficult to take legal action against insurance companies when they fail to treat their customers properly. Claimants can no longer seek recovery based on an insurance company’s bad faith in delaying or failing to pay a claim. In addition, insurance companies gain new ways to limit what they pay out on a policy when multiple people are injured by the same customer.
Presumption in Favor of Property Owners
Another provision of the law establishes a presumption that property owners of apartment complexes and other multifamily dwellings are not liable for criminal actions that occur because of negligent security.
Consult an Attorney as Soon as Possible After a Personal Injury
The full effects of this law will be difficult to gauge until it has been put into practice in new cases, but the provisions described above represent only some of the “reforms” included in the new law. What these changes have in common is that they make it more difficult for hard-working people to seek justice and receive compensation when they have been treated wrongfully.
To give yourself the most opportunities for recovery after an injury, it is important to consult an attorney and get a case evaluation as early on as possible. To talk to our team about your claim, call the Law Office of Shannon J. Sagan today.
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