Under Florida law, all drivers are required to carry what is known as PIP, which is short for Personal Injury Protection. PIP is No-Fault insurance, and that means that you can get PIP benefits whether or not you are at fault for the accident.
The Florida No-Fault/PIP Law was designed by the Florida Legislature to provide a swift, virtually automatic fashion for payment of auto accident related medical xpenses and lost wages. Unfortunately, through years of Legislative wars, and consistent and protracted legal battles, the system has become anything but.
Florida Law used to require your PIP carrier to pay 80% of up to $10,000.00 in medical bills for medical expenses which are caused by an accident, related to an accident, and medically necessary for treatment for that accident. As of January 1, 2013, PIP will only pay $10,000.00 in benefits if you have been diagnosed with an ‘Emergent Medical Condition,’ by a Medical Doctor, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner or Dentist. If you do not have a diagnosis of an ‘Emergent Medical Condition’ (“EMC”), the New law entitles you to only $2,500.00 in medical benefits.
Additionally, and depending on your policy, PIP may provide reimbursement for 60% of any lost wages you incur as a result of missed time from work due to the accident. PIP will also reimburse mileage for travel to and from accident related treatment. PIP will also pay an additional $5,000.00 death benefit if there is a loss of life due to a Motor Vehicle Accident.
Under the New PIP Law, it is highly likely that the vast majority of your medical bills will be outstanding. This is another reason to call an experienced accident and injury attorney. At our office we always seek to recover your outstanding medical balances through demand and settlement of your Bodily Injury claim against the at fault party. Bodily Injury or “BI” is insurance that a person carriers for injury they cause to someone else due to their fault. BI is not required under Florida Law. That is why you should always purchase Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage on your own insurance policy. Uninsured Motorist Coverage provides protection should the at fault party not have any BI on their insurance policy, or not enough coverage given their injuries.
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What does this mean for consumers and for the good and hard-working medical providers who care and treat our injured? It means you better prepare for a legal fight with your own insurance company in each and every car accident case. (And, all the more reason why now, more then ever, you need an experienced Florida Auto Accident Attorney on your side as soon as possible following your accident).