Two Florida Supreme Court decisions and a new law have prompted moves to raise workers' compensation rates in the Sunshine State by nearly 20% starting Oct. 1. And attorneys appear set to get most of the increase.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance filed the amended rate plan that would push up rates by 19.6%, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) announced July 1. According to Insurance Journal, 15% of the overall 19.6% gain stems from an April 28 Florida Supreme decision that declared unconstitutional the mandatory attorney fee schedule in workers' comp cases. Another 2.2% of the increase involves a second Supreme Court case that rejected the 104-week statutory limit in temporary total disability benefits in favor of a 260-week limit. The rest of the increase involved routine updates.

OIR will hold a public hearing on Aug. 16 regarding the proposed rate increase. Nevertheless, because of the court decisions there's general expectation in Tallahassee that the increase will go through.

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