A Fair Chance for a Fair Settlement

Florida In the News Lawsuit Abuse Legal reform

If you live in Florida, there’s a strong chance that you’re paying a lawsuit premium.

Personal injury lawyers are hijacking accident settlements so they can run up more and bigger lawsuits. Instead of allowing a fair settlement for the amount of damages covered by a customer’s insurance policy, personal injury lawyers are escalating routine settlements into so-called “bad faith” lawsuits.

They do it by exploiting a loophole in how insurance claims are settled.

Here’s how it works. Because current Florida law doesn’t set clear rules for settling with a third party– not the policy holder but the other person in the accident– personal injury lawyers get to dictate the terms. This allows them to make settlement demands that are intentionally impossible to meet. Then, when these terms are not met, they threaten a “bad faith” lawsuit, which triggers a whole new set of damages above and beyond the damages for the actual accident.

It’s a craftily-orchestrated game of “gotcha” that personal injury lawyers use to up the ante on lawsuits and rack up more fees for themselves. This may work to advantage of the lawyers, but it’s bad for the rest of us.  Letting personal injury lawyers manipulate the law to prevent fair settlements is a recipe for abuse.  It’s a bad law that encourages more lawsuits and costs you money.

Florida residents pay some of the highest auto insurance premiums in the country and this broken law is one of the reasons why. When companies are more likely to be sued, and settlements are more likely to be unnecessarily inflated, liability costs go up and those costs get passed on to you. Personal injury lawyers are striking pay dirt while you’re stuck paying the lawsuit premium.

Creating clear rules that are dictated by law, not personal injury lawyers, will help stop this abuse while protecting consumers and ensuring fair settlements.

Thankfully, proposed legislation, SB 1088 and HB 1197, would do just that.

Take action now: Urge your legislators to support SB 1088 & HB 1197.

SB 1088 & HB 1197 would create clearer rules – such as how much time a company has to respond – for settlements and prevent personal injury lawyers from dictating impossible terms. This would ensure there is a chance to offer a fair settlement while also making clear what truly constitutes bad faith and holding companies that do act in real bad faith accountable.

Companies will know exactly what they must comply with in offering a settlement, consumers get the protections they deserve and injured parties get settlements in a timely manner. This seems like a reasonable approach to providing justice and ensuring the law is upheld.

Let’s stop lawsuit abuse by passing SB 1088 & HB 1197 and ensuring the legal system operates by clear and consistent rules that benefit everyone and not just personal injury lawyers.

Take action now: Urge your legislators to support SB 1088 & HB 1197.

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A project of Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, Sick of Lawsuits is an online network of people who are interested in restoring integrity to our justice system by addressing issues surrounding legal reform. We encourage citizens to be empowered as legal consumers, take action against abuses, and help restore common sense and fairness to our legal system.


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