How the Laws Changed in Florida for Personal Injury Lawsuits

Laws change from time to time to reflect the legislators’ new stance on various issues. When it comes to personal injury lawsuits, Florida lawmakers made significant changes in 2023. Since the new rules have been in force for some time now, a Hollywood personal injury lawyer will explain them in detail for anyone to understand.

We believe that knowledge is power and helps you protect your legal rights. These are the new laws ruling over all personal injury cases in the Sunshine State:

1. Shorter Statute of Limitations for Filing a Lawsuit

This is the change with the biggest impact on plaintiffs’ cases. The new bill enacted by Governor Ron DeSantis reduces the period of time available to take legal action from 4 years to 2 years.

This puts new pressure on injured people who have a long recovery period ahead of them. They must hurry up and file their claims, even though they are not yet able to calculate all their eligible damages. Otherwise, they may be left with no time to escalate the case to court if the insurance company refuses to settle.

2. Car Accident Claims Are Handled under the Comparative Negligence Principle

Car accident cases used to be a separate category of all personal injury torts in Florida. The no-fault system was used, meaning that each driver would recover damages from their own PIP insurance.

They had very little possibilities to sue the at-fault driver for economic and non-economic damages. Now, this system has changed. While filing a claim with their own insurer is still valid, drivers who were less than 50% at fault for the crash can also file a claim against the other driver’s insurance policy.

This is a fair and just manner of treating accident victims, who should not be left with financial burdens and no compensation for their pain and suffering.

3. Bad Faith Insurance Is More Difficult to Prove

Finally, the new legislation related to personal injury lawsuits offers insurance companies more power in defending bad faith claims. Until now, negligence was the accepted level of proof to justify the claim.

Under the new bill, mere negligence and accidental mishandling are excluded from the grounds to file a lawsuit against an insurance company. The plaintiff must prove mishandling as a recurring business practice in order to have a valid case.

Florida made significant changes to personal injury law

What Do These Changes Mean for Plaintiffs?

Now let us explain how these changes will impact future claims and what plaintiffs need to prepare for:

Legal Representation Becomes More Important Than Ever

All three changes to personal injury law make the involvement of an experienced attorney extremely important. Skilled lawyers know how to negotiate with insurers without allowing delays and how to prove the other party’s fault.

The rule of the thumb is now to contact a Hollywood personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident in order to maximize your chances of getting fair compensation.

You Must Be Diligent in Collecting Evidence at the Accident Scene

Since car accidents are now covered by the comparative negligence principle, you have to prove the other driver’s fault. Unfortunately, you cannot rely only on the police report and eyewitness testimonies.

Unless you suffered severe injuries, you have to remain calm and collected after the crash and use your mobile phone to document the crash scene. The most important elements to include in photos and videos are:

  • Your injuries
  • The damage to your car
  • The position of the cars immediately after the impact
  • Skid marks
  • The other driver’s license plate and insurance proof

Consult with an Experienced Hollywood Personal Injury Lawyer

The legal team at Klotzman Law Firm is extremely knowledgeable and experienced in handling personal injury cases under the new laws. An experienced Hollywood personal injury lawyer will analyze the merits of your case carefully and offer you a reliable legal opinion.

To maximize your chances of a positive result, contact us as soon as possible after your accident and schedule a free case review at 954-807-4475!