Florida House Bill 837 (HB 837), also known as the Tort Reform Act, is a bill that was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis on March 24, 2023
Florida Tort Reform Act of 2023
What Is Tort Law
Tort law is a branch of civil law that deals with wrongful acts that cause harm to another person. Torts can be intentional, such as assault and battery, or unintentional, such as negligence. Tort law allows victims of wrongful acts to seek compensation for their losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
There are many different types of torts, but some of the most common include:
- Negligence: This is a failure to act with the care that a reasonable person would use in the same situation.
- Intentional torts: These are acts that are done intentionally and that cause harm to another person. Some examples of intentional torts include assault, battery, and defamation.
- Strict liability: This is a type of tort in which liability is imposed even if the defendant did not act negligently. Some examples of strict liability torts include product liability and premises liability.
If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s wrongful act, you may be able to file a tort lawsuit. To be successful in a tort lawsuit, you must prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, that the defendant breached that duty of care, that your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach of duty, and that you suffered damages as a result of your injuries.
Tort law is a complex area of law, and it is important to speak with an attorney if you have been injured as a result of someone else’s wrongful act. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and can represent you in court if you decide to file a lawsuit.
Why is Florida called a PIP State?
Florida is called a PIP state because it requires all drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. PIP insurance is a type of no-fault insurance that pays for your medical expenses and lost wages up to a certain amount, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
PIP insurance was first introduced in Florida in 1971 as a way to reduce the number of lawsuits filed after car accidents. The idea was that if drivers knew that they would be covered for their medical expenses regardless of who was at fault, they would be less likely to file lawsuits.
PIP insurance has been successful in reducing the number of lawsuits filed after car accidents in Florida. However, it has also been criticized for being expensive and for not providing enough coverage for some people.
Despite the criticisms, PIP insurance remains a requirement for all drivers in Florida. If you are a driver in Florida, you are required to have at least $10,000 in PIP insurance.
How Does HB 837 Impact PIP Statutes?
On March 24, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law one of the most significant tort reform bills in Florida history, HB 837¹. This new law makes sweeping changes to long-standing Florida civil tort law in numerous areas related to negligence, insurance bad faith and related rules of evidence, among others¹³. The bill is expected to have lasting impacts on personal injury, wrongful death, and insurer bad faith litigation in the state of Florida².
(1) Florida’s New Tort Reform Law Cuts Negligence Statute of Limitations in …. https://www.jimersonfirm.com/blog/2023/04/florida-tort-reform-statute-of-limitations-change/.
(2) Florida Enacts Major Tort Reform and Bad-Faith Insurance Claim …. https://www.hklaw.com/en/insights/publications/2023/03/florida-enacts-major-tort-reform-and-bad-faith-insurance-claim.
(3) House Bill 837 — Florida Tort Reform — Taylor, Day, Grimm & Boyd. https://www.taylordaylaw.com/2023/04/house-bill-837/.
(4) Florida Passes Tort Reform: What You Need to Know. https://marshalldennehey.com/articles/florida-passes-tort-reform-what-you-need-know.
(5) Tort Reform Overhauls Florida’s Litigation Landscape. https://www.gtlaw.com/en/insights/2023/4/tort-reform-overhauls-floridas-litigation-landscape.
The bill makes a number of changes to the state’s personal injury laws, including:
- Reducing the statute of limitations for personal injury cases from four years to two years. This means that victims of personal injury have less time to file a lawsuit after being injured.
- Allowing insurance companies to offer lower settlements to victims who are partially at fault for their own injuries. This change could make it more difficult for victims to recover full compensation for their losses.
- Limiting the amount of non-economic damages that victims can recover in personal injury cases. Non-economic damages are damages for things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of quality of life.
These changes are likely to have a significant impact on personal injury victims in Florida. The reduced statute of limitations could make it more difficult for victims to file a lawsuit and recover compensation for their losses. The lower settlements and limits on non-economic damages could also make it more difficult for victims to get the full compensation they deserve.
It is important to note that these are just some of the changes that Florida HB 837 makes to the state’s personal injury laws. There are a number of other changes that could impact victims, so it is important to speak with an attorney if you have been injured in an accident.
Here are some of the arguments in favor of Florida HB 837:
- The bill will reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits filed in Florida.
- The bill will make it more difficult for plaintiffs to recover large sums of money in personal injury cases.
- The bill will protect insurance companies from being taken advantage of by plaintiffs.
Here are some of the arguments against Florida HB 837:
- The bill will make it more difficult for victims of personal injury to get the compensation they deserve.
- The bill will shift the cost of personal injury cases from defendants to insurance companies and ultimately to consumers.
- The bill will discourage people from taking legal action against those who have injured them.
Ultimately, the impact of Florida HB 837 on personal injury victims remains to be seen. However, it is clear that the bill will make it more difficult for victims to recover compensation for their losses.