“Think the 2003 changes to the Florida Workers’ Compensation law helped injured
The main impetus behind the 2003 Workers’ Compensation law was to reduce fraudulent claims and employer premiums. While employer premiums in the aggregate have deceased since 2003 there has been a trend back upward since 2011.
It may be argued that the change in the law allowed Florida to be a more attractive landing spot for corporations that would employ Floridians and fill the state coffers with much needed tax revenue. However, for the last three consecutive years the National Council on Compensation Insurance has asked for, and the legislature granted, rate increases for workers compensation insurance. This last year rates were raised an average of 6.1%.
In short, insurance rates are now trending upward with no change in the law. In fact, according to the State of Florida 2013-2014 Division of Administration Hearings Settlement and Mediation Statistics Report, since 2003 there has been a reduction of Petitions filed on behalf of injured workers from 151,021 to 59,292 in 2013-2014. That is almost 100,000 fewer petitions filed today than in 2003. In addition to the amount of petitions filed, since 2009 the aggregate value of all settlements has dropped from $649,416 to $476,715.
What it means is that insurance companies now have a law in Florida that is extremely in their favor and discourages injured workers from bringing claims. They made the argument that the new law would decrease premiums and attract businesses. While premiums did fall for a period of time, the insurance companies are back to increasing rates and reaping the financial rewards with no real justification. The employees of the companies that were supposed to see the benefits are now being injured at the same rate as before but filing less claims due to the current state of the law.
Workers’ Compensation laws were written to help employees who were injured while working. The law has been eroded over time to a point where the injured workers are seeing little to no benefit while the insurance companies continue to have big pay days.
We would love to discuss your case and explain how this law affects you. If you or someone you know is in this situation, please give us a call at (877) 817-4127 workers or business owners? Think again!”