Guide To The Florida Laws You Should Know About (And Can Affect Your Legal Claims)

Laws In Florida You Should Know About

Here is a curated list of Florida laws and official resources by issue which you should know about as a resident of the sunshine state or when visiting.

Know your rights! But get help from a qualified Florida attorney if you face a legal problem of your own.

Florida Car Accident Laws, Traffic & Insurance Issues

The following is a list of rules and regulations Florida drivers and passengers need to know. Governing how car insurance works and injury claims work after a car accident. This list includes regulations governing policyholders as well as what minimums auto insurance requirements in Florida motorists are required to purchase - and matters we feel you should know. Your auto accident attorney representation will be able to further answer questions specific to your claim if you need further assistance.

  • Florida DMV Car Accident Resource: Read about what you can do if you are injured in a car accident, ticket & traffic court process information, state compiled car crash data and their recommendations for actions to take after a collision. - Florida DMV Online
  • Florida is a No-Fault State: See personal injury protection (PIP) benefits insurance information here. (DMV) (Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law: Report)
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Bodily injury insurance is not currently mandatory in Florida - meaning you can be hit by a motorist with full insurance coverage but without BI coverage. In such cases you may be forced to pursue damages for recovery from them personally. Because of legal liability rules for uninsured motorists, drivers are encouraged to get UM coverage with their insurance policy. (Title XXXVII Ch. 627)
  • Underinsured Motorist Coverage: An insurer protection in cases the other driver doesn't have enough auto insurance. In Florida, UM provides coverage in instances the person who hits you is underinsured and you wouldn't otherwise be covered by BI insurance alone.
  • Florida Negligence Codes: See the laws governing negligence in the State of Florida. (Statutes)
  • Florida Civil Statute of Limitations: Time limit for filing a civil lawsuit n in Florida. See the window of time restricting your legal claims here. (Title VIII, Chapter 95)
  • Crash Reporting Requirements: See the statute governing your obligations in Florida to file a crash report and your obligations to stop after an accident. (Reporting: Section 316.066 / Stop Obligations Post-Accident: Section 316.062)
  • Duty to Provide Care After a Crash: Driver obligations following a crash to render aid and give information (and the penalties for failing to provide aid). - (Section 316.027)
  • DUI Threshold: The blood-alcohol limit in Florida is .08%, Zero tolerance underage BAC limit (under 21) is only .02%, and Florida is an implied consent State. - (Florida DUI Laws)
  • Comparative Fault for Injuries: In Florida, your percentage of fault responsibility determines how much you pay in an injury claim. For example, if the plaintiff is partially at fault, the percentage of fault established will reduce the person's recovery.

Continue reading to learn more.

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Important Laws Regulating Employment In Florida

A number of important laws exist to prohibit discrimination at work and protect employees from illegal employer actions. The following State statutes provide supplemental protections to workers in Florida.

  • Florida Minimum Wage Laws: (Rate): Applied annually, the minimum wage as of 2017 is set to $8.10 and $5.08 for tipped employees. Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
  • Minimum Wage Statute: FL Constitution 448.110 Art. X Sec. 24
  • Wage & Hour - Overtime Laws: Federal law FLSA protections apply
  • Florida Right To Work Laws: Florida is a "Right to Work" state, with prohibitions against requiring employees to be union members. Public employees do not have the right to strike. - FL Constitution Section VI
  • Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA): Provides protections to designated protected classes of people in the workplace and workers possessing the following characteristics or traits: • Race • Color • Religion • Sex • National origin • Age • Handicap • Marital status. - Florida Civil Rights Act
  • Florida State Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Grants additional leave protections for employees seeking a leave of absence for a serious family illness, including an accident, domestic violence, mental or physical in-home care situations, birth & adoption, disease, or condition that poses imminent danger of death, requires hospitalization involving an organ transplant, limb amputation, or other procedure of similar severity. For covered employees these protections are in addition to protections afforded under Federal FMLA regulations. - FL Stat. Sec. 110.221
  • Florida Whistleblower Act: Prohibits the termination or retaliation against covered employees who expose suspected unlawful actions which create a danger to the public's (health, safety, welfare), causes a gross waste of funds or gross managerial malfeasance. - FL Statute Sec. 112.3187
  • Florida is an "At-Will" State: Meaning employees can be fired for any reason - so long as the reason doesn't violate FMLA, workplace discrimination laws, whistleblower protections or protected class protections. The employment at will doctrine of Florida.

If you have more questions about an employment situation in Florida, share what happened with a qualified employment attorney who can help answer your questions about how the laws may apply to your circumstances.

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Florida Tort Reform Laws

The basic laws governing civil action awards and pre-litigation requirements are subject to change as trial lawyers and tort reform advocates fight their legislative battles.

Many legislative efforts have been made to overhaul laws governing civil litigation in Florida. For our purposes "Tort reform" will refer to any changes to the rules governing civil litigation in the State. Any amendments imposed by the State affecting what personal injury lawyers and rule changes designed to provide liability protections: pain and suffering, statute of limitations to file a claim, punitive damages, noneconomic, pre-suit requirements, as well as various other injury award caps.

  • Florida State Tort Reform: See the Florida Statute 766.118
  • Employer Liability: --- Limits employer liability in situations where employee's actions which caused harm. Employer liability is limited to cases in which they had active knowledge and participated in the tortious actions of employees. Provides added liability protections for employers from negligent hiring in civil actions involving employees and third party personal injury claims.
  • Punitive Damages: --- Civil causes seeking damages assessed as punishment (punitive) are capped in the State of Florida at three times actual damages or $500,000. Exception: if conduct can be shown to have been "motivated solely by unreasonable financial gain" the punitive damage cap to the greater of four times actual damages or $2 million. Subject to court removal when defendant's intent was to cause harm.
  • Products Liability: --- Exposure has been limited for product defective product liability. Under Florida statute, a limitation on actions requiring they begin within 12 years of the expected useful life. Under the statute of repose, certain products are not subject to the limitation, including railroad equipment, aircraft and elevators and exceptions are made when a manufacturer is alleged to have taken steps to conceal the product defect.
  • Medical Malpractice: --- Noneconomic damages limited in medical liability cases. June 2017 Update: The Florida Supreme Court ruled damage caps in medical malpractice claims to be unconstitutional. - Florida Statute 95.11

To find out how your your personal injury civil claim may be impacted by state law, share what happened with an attorney today.

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Florida Criminal Laws You Should Know

Florida Crime Statutes: The governing laws governing crimes and criminal procedure for everything from theft, prostitution to homicide. - (Crimes / Procedure and Corrections / Evidence / Witnesses, Records and Documents)

Drug Laws: As of this writing, marijuana remains illegal in the State of Florida, while the medical marijuana legalization initiative legalized medicinal use for people with debilitating diseases and conditions (determined by a physician). For the most up to date information, visit the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (FloridaHealth).

DUI / Driving Laws:

If you feel you have been wrongly charged, seek appropriate legal representation with an lawyer to discuss your options right away.

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The following resources are a collection of official and useful resources having to do with basic laws and statutes important to Florida residents.

The following State court and legislative resources are intended to help with your legal research.

  • Florida Senate Archive (Website)
  • Florida Administrative Code (FCA)
  • Official Florida Legislature Online (FLL)
  • Florida Senate Bills (Online)
  • State Library and Florida Law Archive (FL Rules)
  • Florida Department of Economic Opportunity: (DEO)
  • Florida District Courts (Appeals)
  • Florida Supreme Court (Decision Library)
  • Florida Bar Association - (FloridaBar.org)
  • Constitution Revision Commission - (FL)
  • Florida Legislative History - (Univ. of Florida)

 

State laws are always subject to change.

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