Getting in an accident is a stressful experience. Not only does one worry about the complications that can be caused by being in an accident, one also worries about the financial impact of the accident. Some accidents can be very expensive as a result of injuries to either party involved, damage to the vehicle, and much more.
Of course, automobile insurance is designed to provide a financial safeguard for drivers. However, even with insurance, a driver involved in an accident may still worry about the financial impact from the accident. Just how protected will a driver be?
What is PIP Insurance?
Insurance is a very complicated concept and it is no surprise that individuals are confused by it. Insurance requirements also vary from state to state. Florida is one of the few states in the country that requires that drivers maintain Personal Injury Protection, better known as PIP. Under Florida law, drivers are required to maintain personal injury protection insurance policy that provides up to $10,000 of immediate medical cover in the event of an accident.1 Perhaps most importantly, drivers involved in an accident have access to the $10,000 in coverage whether or not they are at fault in the accident.
Who is Covered under PIP?
PIP is mandatory for all individuals who own and operate an automobile. PIP can be effective in all accidents in which an automobile is involved. This can be true even if one of the injured parties was riding a bicycle at the time of the accident, so long as the injured party is the owner of a vehicle and thereby maintains a PIP insurance policy. PIP coverage also extends beyond the insurer and to those relatives that share a household.
What does PIP Cover?
For those involved in an accident, knowing what is covered by insurance is of utmost importance. As stated above, PIP is designed to provide up to $10,000 of immediate medical coverage in the event of an accident.
The coverage itself is complex and may not immediately provide the insured with $10,000 of immediate medical coverage. As the language states, the medical care must be considered “immediate.” In order to be deemed as immediate, the accident victim must seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident. Doing so allows for the insured to receive no less than $2,500 in coverage. If the insured is diagnosed with an emergency medical condition at some time after receiving initial treatment during the 14 day period, he or she may be entitled to receiving up to the $10,000 limit.
What if My Losses are Greater than $10,000?
PIP is a form of minimum coverage insurance required by Florida law. Because $10,000 is a relatively low amount of money, many insured will often find that he or she has incurred losses in excess of $10,000. Clearly, PIP does not cover medical losses in excess of $10,000; it may actually not cover those amounts up to $10,000 if the injured party is not determined to have suffered an emergency medical condition.
In the event that medical losses are greater than $10,000, an injured party has different alternatives. First and foremost, the injured party should seek file a claim with his or her insurance agency if he or she has more than just the minimum coverage. The additional insurance policy should help cover some if not all of the losses in excess of PIP coverage. Alternatively, the injured party may be able to bring suit against the other party involved in the accident. Individuals have a legal remedy to recover for losses incurred as a result of the accident. (It is important to note that, unlike with PIP coverage, it will be of importance to establish fault.) However, this process will often be lengthy and require a significant amount of time and resources in order recover damages. Thus, it is important to use the legal services of a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney.
Contact the Dolman Law Group to Discuss Your Automobile Accident Case Today
If you have been involved in an automobile accident, your insurance should help cover your medical damages. At the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, our auto accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your case to ensure you recover the damages to which you are lawfully entitled. Call us today at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation.
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765