The Limits of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in Florida

If you or someone you know was hurt or injured in a motor vehicle accident then you can contact our Miami car crash attorneys today. We are well-versed in personal injury law and proudly represent clients across South Florida. We understand the costs that can quickly add up in the aftermath of an accident and want to help you get the compensation you deserve. While laws surrounding automobile insurance differ from state to state, in Florida, car accident lawyers need to have extensive knowledge of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) to properly handle your case.

Florida requires mandatory PIP coverage. PIP is a facet of car insurance that covers medical bills, lost wages and other damages. Under Florida law, each driver is legally required to carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage. PIP is designed to be paid regardless of whose fault the accident was. Put another way, if you cause an accident, you can potentially receive payment for your injuries and lost wages. For this reason, PIP is referred to as “no-fault” coverage.

While the Florida Legislature passed changes to the state’s PIP laws in 2013 under the guise of preventing insurance fraud, in reality, the changes have allowed insurance companies to collect similar or higher premiums while providing fewer benefits to policyholders. The statute calls for a staggering 25% reduction in billing for PIP benefits in 2014 although the insurance companies have the right to petition for exclusion from this provision.

Policyholders may now only be eligible for $2500 in coverage as opposed to the previous $10,000 limit if their injuries are not deemed to be serious. Individuals who sustained serious injuries will still be eligible for the higher limit if their medical doctor, doctor of osteopathic medicine, dentist, physician’s assistant of registered nurse practitioner can show that the car wreck injuries form a basis for immediate medical attention, the absence of which could cause: 1) serious jeopardy to the individual’s health; 2) serious impairment of the individual’s bodily functions; or 3) serious dysfunction of the individual’s bodily organs.

This finding of emergency medical condition must be made within 14 days of the accident. Thus, individuals injured in car accidents have a 14 day time limit to seek initial medical treatment as opposed to the old laws which placed no time frame on treatment. If treatment is sought past the 14 day window then nothing will be reimbursed by the insurance company.

Perhaps the most alarming aspect of this to Florida residents is that the law does not require insurance companies to notify policyholders of such policy changes. Thus, Florida citizens can be stripped of their insurance coverage without their knowledge or consent. The new statute will likely yield an increase in litigation as to wrongful denial of personal injury benefits by insurance companies.

At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we take pride in getting to know the details of your case and informing you of all your options. You can expect the utmost professionalism from each member of our legal team. If you or someone you know has been hurt in a car accident and you are unsure of your insurance options, don’t wait to contact an experienced South Florida attorney. Contact us online or call us today at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) for a free, confidential consultation.

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