In Florida, state law requires that every registered motor vehicle be insured for at least a minimum of $10,000.00 of personal injury protection. This coverage is more commonly known by the acronym PIP, or Florida no-fault law. PIP protects vehicle owners by insuring their automobile no matter who is at fault for the accident. Pursuant to Florida Statute 627.736, PIP pays for the medical costs incurred by the drivers, passengers, and pedestrians injured in a vehicle accident. PIP coverage pays these expenses, irrespective of fault in order to lessen the likelihood of litigation and to expedite medical treatment. Insurance companies, must by law, offer deductibles for this coverage at rates of $250, $500, and $1,000.
PIP covers not only the owner of the car, and policy, but also relatives living in the same household. It applies to every motor vehicle on the policy; whether or not you are driving in Florida or out of state.
PIP has benefits of up to $10,000.00 per accident. The PIP coverage of each driver in the collision covers 80% of the medical expenses caused by the wreck. It is also important to know that PIP will pay a $5,000.00 death benefit, to help with things like funeral expenses, in the event that the auto accident results in a fatality. Also, PIP will pay 60% of lost wages resulting from a disability that was caused by an accident. A person can bring a lawsuit against a responsible party, under PIP, for any medical bills that an insurance carrier fails to reimburse per the fee schedule.
There are certain things that injury victims must do to protect their rights and potential recovery under PIP. An injured person must seek medical treatment within fourteen (14) days of the accident or PIP coverage will not be applicable. Also, there must be an emergency medical condition or you are limited to $2,500.00 recovery maximum. An emergency medical condition is defined under Florida law as: “a medical condition that poses a serious threat to bodily functions, organs or parts.” Also, one must be treated by a licensed medical professional ( a doctor, chiropractor, dentist) or in a hospital in order for PIP to kick in.
There a number of people and interest groups that want to change the way PIP works in Florida. Governor Scott make PIP insurance fraud a priority of his administration. Among things that have been proposed is changing the window of treatment from 14 days to just 72 hours- limiting one’s ability to be covered. Other things include: changing fee schedules, capping litigation costs, and administrative changes like what kind of medical professionals are allowed to treat. However, recently, a federal judge upheld an injunction on several portions of the PIP law. The legal basis of this was that certain provisions of the PIP law unfairly restrict a person’s access to our court system.
If you have been hurt in a car accident you need to contact a Clearwater auto accident attorney immediately. It is important to understand and protect your rights. The experienced car accident attorneys at the Dolman law group are ready and waiting for you call. Initial consultations are both free and private. Contact us today: (727) 451-6900