Decoding Florida’s Updated Negligence Law: What Changed in March 2023?

professional liability

The negligence laws in Florida govern cases where one party fails to exercise reasonable care, resulting in an injury or harm to another individual. The legal principle holds individuals and businesses accountable for their actions. In March 2023, Florida made significant updates to the negligence law. Understanding the amendments and the value of professional liability insurance can help you mitigate the risks associated with accusations of negligence.

Understanding Negligence Law in Florida

The negligence laws in Florida encompass four key elements: duty, breach, causation, and damage. 

Duty is the legal obligation to exercise reasonable care and prevent harm. A breach occurs when a responsible party fails to fulfill that duty. Causation is necessary to show a link between the breach of duty and the harm, while damages quantify the losses the affected party suffered. A successful negligence claim requires that the affected party prove all four elements.

Changes in March 2023 

Florida’s tort reform passed in March 2023 alters the state’s system from pure comparative negligence to modified comparative negligence. Under the new law, a plaintiff in a negligence case can only receive restitution if their responsibility is 50% or less. Further, the state reduced the statute of limitations for filing a case, so plaintiffs must file suit within two years. 

The state has also modified the premises liability laws with a presumption against liability for property owners in certain instances — for example, in negligent security cases involving criminal acts on someone’s property. With the tort reform, some of the blame is also on the one conducting the criminal act, reducing the liability for the business or property owner.

Role of Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance, helps mitigate risks associated with negligence claims. This type of insurance provides coverage for professionals and businesses facing allegations of errors, omissions, or negligence in the course of their services. 

Although the recent amendments to Florida’s negligence law make negligence harder to prove, liability insurance remains a valuable asset for Florida businesses. This insurance not only helps cover legal costs but also provides financial protection against potential damages awarded to the claimant. Moreover, insurers often offer guidance and support in legal matters, aiding businesses in navigating the complexities of negligence cases.

Navigating Negligence

Understanding the intricacies of negligence law in Florida is paramount, especially in light of the recent amendments. Businesses and individuals must stay informed about these changes to adapt their practices and strategies accordingly. 

Professional liability insurance emerges as a key player in mitigating the risks associated with negligence claims, providing a safety net and essential support. Navigating negligence in Florida requires a proactive approach, emphasizing the importance of compliance, risk management, and the right insurance coverage. 

The better informed you are, the easier it is to protect your business so that you are ready to handle any challenges. Hilb Group Florida can help provide the liability coverage you need to protect your business.

About The Hilb Group

Deciding what coverage you need and what limits and deductibles make the most sense can be tricky. Founded in 2009, the Hilb Group has been helping clients to make sense of their options and make the smartest choices for their circumstances. Whether you need Warehouse Insurance or any other type of business or personal coverage, we encourage you to contact our friendly, experienced, and capable team today. Call us at (800) 776-3078 for a consultation.