As a personal injury and PIP insurance attorney in the Tampa Bay area, I get questioned a lot by medical providers as to when is the right time to send me the file to get started. Most of the time my answer is to tell the person that they should have already sent it to me weeks ago. Timing is always of the essence.
Why is timing so important in PIP insurance suits?
Unlike other areas of law, PIP insurance has an “exhaustion” period. That is when $10,000 in benefits have been paid out and there is no more money to be had. For more information on PIP insurance exhaustion, click this link. Even if your bill was received first, there is not much I can do as an attorney once benefits have exhausted. Get the overdue bills to the attorney as fast as you can to avoid this.
PIP Demand Letters
PIP insurance has a statutory requirement to send a demand letter. It also has statutory requirements on what needs to be included in the demand letter. [Click here for more information on demand letters]. As part of a demand letter, the statute gives the insurance company 30 days from the receipt of the demand to respond before we can file suit. Meaning if a file is received by Dolman Law Group, it must be received, then drafted, then mailed (assume 5 days), received by insurance company, 30 days must pass, and then additional time for them to mail it back (assume 5 days). Meaning when you break down the numbers, by the time the file is received by Dolman Law Group until the time it is ready to be filed it could be upwards of 50 days. This does not even take into account the process for serving the defendant a lawsuit as well as after they are served them having 20 days from that date to respond to the Complaint. Meaning in actuality it would be closer to 75 days before we would get their true legal answer. This is why it is important to get PIP insurance suits to me as fast as possible.
PIP Supplemental Demands
Sometimes I hear that people want to wait until treatment is done before they send the case to me. I could not agree more. If, for example, a person was paid properly up and until a certain date of service because of an “Independent Medical Evaluation”, do not wait until your done treating to send to me. One date that was denied or mis-paid is enough to do a demand letter. This will allow the long process to start. If they continue to deny codes, then you can wait until more dates have passed and send us an updated billing ledger. We will then send what we call a supplemental demand. It takes all the time as the original demand, but as we are waiting for these to become ripe for suit, the original denial (the main issue) could already be in litigation. While some law firms try to bring these as two separate actions to make more legal fees, at Dolman Law Group many times I am able to settle for all dates of service in one settlement. This enables you to get paid quicker. Also many times settling the one date of service, lifts whatever the denial is and going forward your billing will not be denied.
The PIP Litigation Process
Even more so than demand letters, litigation (the actual lawsuit part) takes even longer. The court systems in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Manatee etc. are overburdened and underfunded. This means getting time on a judges calendar is very hard. When you couple that with fitting the times the attorneys are available it can take months just to do simple tasks.
Faster the Better with PIP Suits
Not all cases need to be sent into litigation or take the full time of a demand letter to be paid. A lot of the times they respond quickly and with full payment. But why do they do this? The insurance companies know the name Dolman Law Group means ethical, tenacious representation of our clients. We review each case and only file lawsuits on those cases in which our clients have been wronged. What this means is that our clients reap the benefits of our hard work. Insurance companies know that they did something wrong and to avoid paying extra legal fees, they want to pay or settle cases with Dolman Law Group.
Contact a Florida PIP Insurance Attorney
If you have files that are collecting dust or waiting for something to happen in the future before pursuing a claim, do not wait any longer and risk exhaustion, call or email Dolman Law Group at 727-222-6922 or email Derek Bernstein Esq. (Managing Attorney-St. Petersburg office) at Derek@dolmanlaw.com