There are two bills proposed in the Florida Legislature this session that, if passed, could have a big impact on accident victims and their families.
HB 6011 Would Help Parents of Adults Who Die from Medical Negligence Eligible Recover Damages
Under current Florida law, if you are the parent of an adult child who dies in a car accident but has no surviving spouse or children, you are entitled to sue for damages for mental pain and suffering if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence. This is the parents’ right under Florida’s Wrongful Death Act.
However, if that same adult child dies as the result of medical negligence, the parents have no right to recover damages. HB 6011, filed August 24 by Rep. Spencer Roach, R-North Ft. Myers, aims to change this.
Roach filed an identical measure earlier this year that died when the legislative session ended.
HB 41 Proposes Regulations for Loaning Money to Litigation Plaintiffs
Litigation financing is the practice of companies lending money to clients during ongoing litigation. The people who often seek these loans are facing overwhelming financial stress as a result of a personal injury caused by someone else’s negligence. It’s likely that they will eventually recover damages from the party that caused their injury, but in the meantime how do these clients pay for day-to-day living expenses and medical treatments?
Companies that offer litigation financing often prey on these desperate financial situations, offering outrageous interest rates. HB 41, filed by Rep. Toby Overdorf, R-Stuart, proposed tightening the regulations on these companies and putting a 10% annual cap on the interest for these loans.
This would seem like a bill aimed at protecting consumers, but will it actually help?
In our opinion, the answer is no. While we strongly advocate against the use of such loans because we do believe that in most cases they prey on vulnerable consumers, it is highly unlikely that this bill will change that practice.
These are very high risk loans that depend on the client eventually receiving a settlement large enough to pay back the funds. What makes the loans worth the risk to the companies doing the lending is the high interest rates they charge. Capping the interest rate at 10% is more than likely going to result in litigation financing companies discontinuing the business of making these loans.
In the end, many more clients are likely to settle sooner for less than they are due because they simply have no other financial option.
Stay tuned for updates on these proposed Florida law changes!
Get Help Protecting Your Rights as an Accident Victim
If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence, Fort Lauderdale accident lawyer Lisa Levine is here to help. She understands that fair compensation can make the difference between living a normal life and being drowned in debt caused by your injury.
Having helped injury victims obtain much needed compensation in Florida for over 35 years, Lisa Levine is well familiar with the tactics used by negligent parties and their insurance companies to avoid responsibility. Call 954-256-1820 today to schedule a free consultation.