A Florida state representative has proposed legislation to make workers’ comp voluntary there. Florida Rep. Cory Byrd’s (R – Neptune Beach) bill would also address the attorney fee issue that was the main contributor to a 14.5 percent rate hike from NCCI. It would allow lawyers to accept payment outside of a fee schedule in workers’ compensation disputes, permitting them and clients to freely negotiate payment. Further, judges of compensation claims would no longer need to review attorney fees. And employers and carriers who failed to pay valid claims within 30 days would have to pay double the original amount. According to a report in FloridaPolitics.com, Byrd is an attorney who previously represented businesses and carriers and then switched to the plaintiff side.
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