Series of New Personal Injury-Related Bills Introduced
More than 3,000 bills were filed this year in Florida’s legislative session. Many of the bills involved personal injury-related matters, although only around 250 proposed laws actually passed both the House and the Senate. To learn more about which bills were introduced and passed, and how this could affect your claim, please contact a member of our dedicated personal injury legal team who can address your concerns.
House Bill 221: Uber/Lyft Liability
One of this year’s few successfully enacted bills was House Bill 221, which created statewide regulations for ride-sharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft. Under the terms of the law, which went into effect on July 1, 2017, ride-sharing companies are now required to obtain insurance liability coverage and to conduct background checks on drivers prior to hiring.
Until this law was passed, ride-sharing companies were governed by conflicting municipal ordinances, which left consumers and employees unsure of their rights and obligations. However, these companies will now need to comply with a state wide law that requires companies to obtain:
- At least $ 1 million in commercial auto liability insurance;
- At least $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person;
- At least $100,00 for death and bodily injury per accident; and
- No less than $25,000 for property damage, to be applied when the driver has engaged the ride-sharing app, but has not yet picked up a customer.
House Bill 1063: Repealing the No-Fault Law
This year, the House passed a bill intended to repeal the state’s no fault law, which requires auto insurance companies to pay for car accident injuries, regardless of who was at fault. Unfortunately, the law stalled in the Senate. If passed, this bill would have required Florida drivers to carry liability insurance of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident in bodily injury liability insurance. Currently, drivers must carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage of at least $10,000. The proposed law would have eliminated this small amount in favor of higher limits.
Senate Bill 1254: Drugs and Alcohol
Under current Florida law, anyone who sells or provides alcoholic beverages to another person who is 21 years of age or older, cannot be held liable for any injuries caused by that person’s intoxication. The only exceptions are when a person:
- Willfully and illegally sells or provides alcohol to someone who is underage; or
- Knowingly serves alcohol to a person who is addicted to its use.
In these rare instances, the server or seller can be held liable for injuries or damage caused by the intoxicated person. Senate Bill 1254 would have also prohibited anyone from permitting a party to take place if a minor was in possession of drugs or alcohol. Furthermore, anyone who allowed a minor to possess or consume alcohol at a party could be held liable for resulting damage or injury. Unfortunately, Senate Bill 1254 did not make it out of committee.
Call Us Today for a Free Consultation
To schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney who can help begin the process of collecting damages for your losses, please contact Boone & Davis at 954-566-9919 or by sending us a brief online message. We are eager to assist you with your case.