PIP Laws Could Create Problems for Accident Victims & Consumers
Recent changes to Florida PIP laws leave a few issues that could affect accident victims and consumers. “Limits” seems to be the keyword for PIP: in particular, limits on benefits and limits on treatment options. These changes may make a car accident claim more challenging for some, but an Orlando car accident lawyer like myself may be helpful to address any difficulties.
Cap on Benefits and Litigation Options
Florida PIP coverage, or “no-fault insurance,” covers medical expenses sustained in car accidents, regardless of who was at fault. Florida requires all drivers to carry PIP insurance, with a $10,000 maximum payout.
The laws are getting increasingly picky when it comes to recovering these benefits:
- Benefit cap –Firstly, the $10,000-benefit max only applies to “an emergency medical condition.” For non-emergencies, there is a much lower $2,500 cap on available PIP benefits.
- Time limit –Secondly, if victims wait longer than 14 days to see their doctor, they lose all possible PIP benefits. This poses an obvious problem for those who sustained injuries that had delayed onset symptoms.
It’s also important to understand that PIP includes only economic losses, such as medical bills and lost income. It excludes non-economic losses, in other words, pain and suffering. Victims may require an Orlando personal injury lawyer to review their options for recovery and to address any issues in terms of classifying injuries as “emergency medical conditions.”
Limited Covered Treatment Options
The legislature has also tightened the reins on what it deems as acceptable medical providers.
Florida PIP benefits now only authorize reimbursement of initial services or care if provided or ordered by a:
- osteopathic physician;
- dentist; or
- if performed in a hospital.
They’ve decided to omit holistic treatments. Massage and acupuncture services may not be reimbursed by these benefits. However, chiropractic care may be reimbursable, but only up to $2,500. This presents a potential financial problem for victims who decide to go with non-traditional care treatments.
Hazy Effects on Premiums
While lawmakers did try to reduce the amount insurance companies could bill Florida residents for PIP insurance, it’s likely futile and moot fine print. New policies are requiring insurance companies to reduce their premiums by 10 percent by October 1, 2013, and 25 percent by January 1, 2014.
However, insurance companies retain the right to explain why they failed to achieve these rate reductions. If they can find a way to avoid reducing their rates, rest assured, they will.
Orlando Auto Accident Attorneys Witness Increased Litigation
Under these Florida PIP changes, some accident victims may struggle to recover fair compensation in a car accident claim. This may lead some to pursue a lawsuit against an at-fault driver if a car accident claim fails to provide adequate compensation for damages.
There is no reason to stand for wrongful denial of personal injury benefits by insurance companies. If you or a loved one has been in an accident and having difficulty receiving compensation for your damages, go over your case with an Orlando personal injury lawyer to review the legal options available to you.
Feel free to contact me, Orlando personal injury lawyer Michael T. Gibson, at 407-422-4529, and find out how I may be able to assist you.