Changing Florida workers compensation law will be debated in the upcoming weeks and months. What changes will occur? Nobody knows. What is known is that the Florida regular legislative session begins next Tuesday, March 7, 2017 and will run until May 5, 2017 and Florida workers compensation law will certainly be discussed.
Stay tuned for debates about the payment of attorney fees by injured workers. Recently, the Florida Supreme Court threw out a law that capped injured workers’ attorneys fee (the same cap did not apply to the insurance company’s attorney fees). To no big surprise, the insurance carriers were not happy about having this part of the law be found unconstitutional and want the Florida legislature to change it back. I will provide much more about this debate as the session begins and continues.
There will be discussion and debate on changing the effects of two cases that were recently decided — Westphal and Jones. In Westphal, the Florida Supreme Court concluded that statutory caps on temporary total disability (TTD) benefits was unconstitutional. The Jones court followed up with its decision that temporary partial disability (TPD) constrictions were similarly unconstitutional.
There may also be some discussion about when medical authorization must be provided by the workers compensation carrier. Should it be “a reasonable time” or a specific time such as “3 business days?”
As you can see, there will be a lot to discuss/debate. Lobbyists for both sides will be working hard to persuade the lawmakers to vote their way. Instead of trying to force lawmakers to vote their way, we should all hope that lawmakers vote the right way. If we are going to have a Florida workers’ compensation system (eliminating it and permitting negligence claims against the employer is a discussion for another day), Florida lawmakers should make sure that it protects the injured workers and the employers and not be so concerned about how it helps the insurance companies or the lawyers on both sides).
Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those with Florida workers compensation claims. He also helps those injured in car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and other types of personal injury matters. He is a named partner at the Tampa Bay law firm of Perenich Caulfield Avril Noyes – one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Pinellas County. Call Attorney Matthew Noyes now at 727-796-8282 or complete the form on this page or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.