Workers Compensation Could Rise with No Caps on Attorney Fees

Almost two weeks ago, the Florida Supreme Court declared the mandatory attorney fee schedule under the workers’ compensation system as unconstitutional. As bad as this ruling for Florida’s general businesses climate, it could have severe repercussions for Florida’s construction industry struggling to recover from the recession.

How does this effect you? Without caps on attorney fees, legal costs drive up the expense of workers’ compensation insurance and threaten Florida’s economy.

Next month, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) will review the impact of this decision on workers’ compensation insurance rates. It will then submit a proposed rate increase to the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR).  From there, the OIR will hold a hearing and work with stakeholders to determine the workers’ compensation rate for all categories of business, including home construction. OIR is required to approve actuarially sound rates. Any reforms will be via legislative dictum.

The FHBA is a member of a business coalition that has already held a number of conference calls on potential legislative fixes. We are committed to ensure workers’ compensation rates are just and that the voice of the home buildering industry is heard! We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed throughout the process.

For more information, email Rusty Payton, CEO/Chief Lobbyist, at rpayton@fhba.com or Doug Buck, Director of Governmental Affairs, at dbuck@fhba.com.