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Florida bill aims to overhaul state’s workers comp system

Florida bill aims to overhaul state’s workers comp system

A bill that would put insurance ratings agencies on notice and allow insurers to independently research and file their own workers compensation insurance rates in Florida, among other key changes, is making its way through the state Senate. 

Senate Bill 1582, filed Thursday by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, also addresses other major issues that have garnered headlines over the past year. 

The Florida Supreme Court in early 2016 imposed strict limits on fees paid to attorneys who represent injured workers, a decision that helped regulators approve a controversial rate hike of 14.5% that went into effect in December. 

In addition to the provision that “each insurer shall independently and individually file … the final rates it proposes to use,” S.B. 1582 would also allow judges in workers comp cases to award fees up to $250 an hour to attorneys who represent injured workers. The judges could consider time and skill required and the complexity of cases when determining amounts, according to the bill.

If passed, the law would go into effect July 1. 



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