Car accidents can result in severe damage and injury leaving you and your loved ones dealing with anger, fear and uncertainty. You may not know how you’re going to pay for all of the medical care required after a car accident. Hospitalization, surgery and physical therapy costs can be financially crippling. And, if someone you love has lost their life in the accident, you may be unsure of how you’re going to cover the costs of the funeral.
What is PIP (Personal Injury Protection) Insurance and what does Florida being a no-fault State mean?
These two things are related and are confusing for many. PIP is short for Personal Injury Protection and under Florida law it requires that every vehicle owner and driver on the road have at least $10,000 worth of PIP insurance coverage. These PIP benefits are paid by your own insurance company if you are in an accident and are paid regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This is what is meant by Florida being a no-fault insurance State.
PIP insurance pays for 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages, up to $10,000. This means, you have to recover the rest of your out of pocket expenses from the driver that caused the accident or another party who may be liable.
PIP covers any accident or injury that involves a vehicle, even if you are on a bicycle or a pedestrian and are injured by a vehicle.
Be aware that $10,000 of PIP can often be used up before you get out of the hospital.
Also, since over 50% of drivers on the road in Florida today have only the minimum required insurance, or are underinsured and some are driving illegally with no insurance at all you should protect yourself and have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage. Check your policy today!
Florida PIP Information
The Florida legislature’s made changes in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) law that became effective on January 1, 2013. These changes were passed under the guise of preventing insurance fraud, but in reality hurt multiple non-insurance groups in Florida, including some medical providers and especially injured motorists. This new law is predicted to allow insurance companies to collect similar or higher rates while providing fewer benefits to policy holders. Florida requires each driver to carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage, which allows a Florida motorist to receive medical benefits if involved in an accident, even if the accident is their fault.
A significant part of the changes requires that individuals injured in car accidents will have only 14 days to seek initial treatment; as opposed to the previous policy that placed no time limit on treatments. If treatment is sought after two weeks, nothing will be reimbursed by the insurance company. Further restrictions, mean policy holders may be eligible for only $2,500 in coverage, as opposed to the previous limit of $10,000. Only those with serious injuries and a medical designation are eligible for the higher limit. Those with less severe injuries and without the needed medical designation will receive only up to $2,500. Under the new law patients will need certification by a medical doctor, osteopathic physician, dentist, physician assistant, or advanced registered nurse practitioner corroborating that the injury meets required conditions. Also changed, massage therapists and acupuncturists will no longer be allowed to treat patients under PIP.
The 14-day limit sets an extremely small window for injured motorists to seek medical treatment, and thus many drivers that hesitate to seek help immediately will likely be shut out of PIP compensation. Due to this change, it is absolutely critical for those injured in auto accidents to contact a Shane M. Farnsworth, P.A. attorney immediately following an accident to ensure that their rights are protected.
The state’s new personal injury protection statute is predicted to take away policy holder benefits while allowing insurers to collect higher fees. Please check your policy on renewal.
Consult A Broward County Car Accident Attorney
You do not have do it alone. Following a car accident, it is crucial to consult with an experienced Florida car accident attorney to discuss your options regarding financial compensation for the injuries, medical expenses, damages and personal loss experienced as the result of a collision. An experienced Florida Personal Injury Attorney can ensure that you receive reparations for damages, personal loss and injury. Shane M. Farnsworth will help you understand your rights and fight to make sure that you are protected. We have won millions of dollars in settlement funds, and can do the same for you.
We will review your case, interview witnesses and work with accident reconstruction specialists and authorities to determine the cause and fault of the accident as well as the extent of your injuries. We will represent you and your loves ones aggressively, no matter the difficulty of the case.
Consult an experienced Delray Beach Personal Injury Attorney that you can trust and someone you know has your best interests in mind. Call Shane M. Farnsworth, P.A. today.