Get ready for more changes to Florida’s workers’ compensation system in 2019. Florida’s workers’ comp system has been experiencing turbulence since 2016, when the Florida Supreme Court ruled against fee restrictions based on the rationale that it violates workers’ due process rights under the state and U.S Constitution.
As one judge for the majority wrote, “Without the likelihood of an adequate attorney’s fee award, there is little disincentive for a carrier to deny benefits or to raise multiple defenses…Virtually since its inception, the right of a claimant to obtain a reasonable prevailing party attorney’s fee has been central to the workers’ compensation law.”
Though the Florida Supreme Court’s decision was a victory for attorneys and employees, it dealt a major blow to businesses, who have since experienced a 14 percent increase in insurance rates. The Florida House and Senate both created bills in an effort to address the issue of rising insurance costs and attorney’s fees, but they failed to pass anything before their legislative session came to a close in early May. Read More