As part of every Floridian’s automobile insurance coverage, consumers pay a portion of their car insurance premium towards Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. PIP coverage pays a portion of the insured’s medical expenses and wage loss for any injuries received as a result of an automobile accident, regardless of who was at fault.
The Florida Legislature, with the backing of Governor Rick Scott, passed a new PIP law in March of 2012. The new law will go into effect on January 1, 2013, and adds additional limitations for consumers injured in automobile accidents.
Below are the important changes a consumer will need to know about the new PIP law:
Automobile accident victims must seek medical treatment within fourteen (14) days from the date of the accident. If injuries or conditions manifest after the fourteen (14) days from the date of the accident, then PIP will not pay any medical expenses.
An accident victim is only entitled to receive the full $10,000 of the PIP benefits if a physician, osteopath, dentist, physician’s assistant, or advanced registered nurse practitioner officially diagnoses the accident victim with an “emergency medical condition”. If an accident victim does not receive this diagnosis, then they are limited to $2,500 in medical care.
Holistic, less intrusive types of treatment for injuries will not be covered by PIP. Examples of excluded treatment under the new PIP law includes massage therapy and acupuncture.
As a result of the new law going into effect, it is even more important for individuals injured in automobile accidents to seek treatment immediately. In many instances injured individuals try to “deal” with the pain or “wait it out” hoping that it will go away on its own. Under the new law, an injured individual that tries to deal with the pain on their own for a few weeks, then realizes that the pain will not go away and seeks medical treatment may be unable to use their PIP benefits.
Contact a personal injury lawyer in Orlando for more information.