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Florida Legislature Taking Aim At Personal Injury & Med Mal Victims, Again

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New Florida Legislature Medical Malpractice 2019

Florida legislators have, for many years, demonstrated by their votes that they care much more about businesses and insurance companies than injured or dead accident victims. So they have been chomping at every legal bit since the midterm elections in 2018.

With the swearing in of the conservatives’ wildest dreams, in all three branches of government in Florida, it hasn’t taken long for the best Orlando personal injury lawyers, and Florida medical malpractice lawyers, to see immediate legislative proposals that, if passed, and upheld by the new & more conservative Florida Supreme Court, will significantly limit and/or destroy many of our future clients’ claims.

As far as new laws go, they have decided to first take aim at medical malpractice victims. My fear is that auto accident victims may not be far behind (and, in fact, insurance company lobbying papers, published this year, have expressed a very clear desire to significantly limit any and all injured or killed victims’ ability to recover a fair amount).

Conservative lawmakers have long tried to undermine personal injury lawyers and their clients (because their primary donors, namely corporations and insurance companies, don’t like paying their claims). So they have long done everything possible to pass laws to make financial recovery difficult and/or impossible for victims of many types of tragic accidents.

Therefore, future accident victims can’t afford to have Orlando personal injury attorneys sit on the sidelines silently, as lawmakers destroy the legitimate claims, including the ability to recover from a negligent person or doctor, after an accident.

Anyway, at the moment, Florida legislators are trying to pass a bill that would limit medical bill recovery to the amount actually paid, rather than the amount billed.

If you aren’t an insider, limiting medical bills to the amount actually paid (by the client, or his or her insurance company) might sound perfectly reasonable, unless you understand the practical implications. One big problem with laws of this nature is that, the vast majority of the time, most people have no idea about the real impact.

Anyway, usually the difference between the amount billed, versus the amount actually paid, is the absolute necessary difference for clients to get a fair recovery. This is true partly because Florida law requires that clients repay their medical providers, which takes a huge chunk of their recovery.

Problem is, if you reduce the ultimate $ going to our potential clients, we are sometimes forced to stop taking cases altogether. Put differently, whenever the top Florida personal injury attorneys don’t think their clients can get a fair or reasonable recovery, we decide to stop accepting the types of cases that will lead to unhappy clients in the end. In other words, if this bill passes, more potential med mal clients will not be able to find lawyers to take their cases (this was already a crisis in med mal, before this election, because lawyers already to reject 99+% of cases due to outrageously unfair med mal laws passed by previous Florida (also conservative) legislators and governors.)

The good news, if there could be anything “good” about being an auto accident or medical malpractice victim, is that, until and unless these horrendously unfair laws pass, Florida’s existing laws will still protect many accident victims. And new laws will not apply retroactively to already pending cases.

So I keep holding my breath, hoping this new more conservative legislature doesn’t do what they have long wanted, and destroy my ability to recover money for far too many of my well-deserving potential clients.

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About the Author:

Tina Willis is a serious injury, accident & death lawyer, based in Orlando, Florida, although she accepts cases throughout the state of Florida, and in Georgia, where she is also licensed. She vigorously prosecutes serious injury and death cases caused by auto accidents, semi-truck accidents, slip and fall accidents, products & premises liability cases, as well as medical malpractice.
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