Changes To Florida’s Injury Laws Are Here – Here’s What They Say And Do
Just a few weeks ago, the Florida legislature altered many of Florida’s personal injury laws. Passed under the name “tort reform,” the laws aren’t really reform at all, but rather, changes that are intended to make it harder for victims to get compensation, and easier for big business and others, to get away with careless and negligent behavior.
One big change is the time that you have to file your lawsuit. It used to be that for a standard negligence case, a victim had four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. But that has now changed, and the new law will give victims only two years to file their lawsuits.
Remember that you normally won’t file a lawsuit the day you first meet your lawyer; there are steps and investigations that need to be taken. That means that if you are injured in an accident, you want to find a personal injury quickly, so that he or she can do what is needed, with enough time before the two year statute of limitations expires.
Negligent Security Law Changes
Negligent security laws are also changing. Negligent security is where you can hold a property owner responsible for injuries that you sustain because of criminal activity on the property.
The new law allows a property owner to point the finger and apportion fault in your accident, to the actual criminal. Because many jurors will find this logical—that the criminal is responsible for the accident—it is going to be more difficult to find property owners, who may take no safety precautions at all to protect customers from criminal activity, liable when attacks on their property do happen.
Additionally, landlords and owners of properties with multiple dwellings in them, are almost completely shielded from liability, if they meet certain requirements written in the law. These requirements include things like installation of lighting, usage of deadbolts, and using required video surveillance systems.
Comparative Negligence is Changing
The last change alters a victim’s ability to recover damages at all, if the victim was responsible even in part, for his or her accident.
The new law says that if a jury finds that the victim was more than 50% responsible for the accident, the victim can recover absolutely no money. So, hypothetically, if a victim is hit by a car, and suffers $100,000 in damages, but the jury finds the victim 51% responsible for the accident, the victim gets absolutely nothing.
Because this new law will give defendants a new avenue to win the case, it is likely Defendants will try to find every reason to blame the victim for his or her accident, knowing they only need to meet that 51% threshold, to be completely absolved from liability.
Questions about the law in your personal injury case? Call the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Pike & Lustig today for help.