Florida’s new PIP (personal injury protection) law will go into effect as of January 1, 2013. This new law will greatly reduce Floridians ability to recover damages from insurance companies. Although the enactment of the law will make it more difficult for Floridians to receive just compensation for their injuries, it will in no way decrease the cost of automobile insurance in the state. The new law does provide for a ten percent reduction in the cost of insurance to civilians, however the insurance companies are able to circumvent this reduced price by giving a detailed explanation of why the price cut is not feasible.
Currently, in the state of Florida, every driver is required to purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance. The original theory behind enacting the law was to provide medical coverage for all parties injured as a result of a car accident, regardless of fault. The current PIP protection pays for eighty percent of medical bills, sixty percent of lost wages, up to $10,000, and provides for a benefit in the event a death occurs.
Under the new PIP Insurance, an injured party is required to see a medical provider within fourteen days of their injury in order to be eligible for the PIP benefits. The medical provider who conducts the evaluation must either be a licensed physician or a hospital. In addition, the new PIP law makes the following requirements in order to obtain coverage for follow-up treatment: (1) initial medical treatment was obtained within fourteen days of the injury (2) the follow-up treatment is based on a referral from one of the above healthcare providers, (3) the follow-up treatment is parallel to the underlying condition diagnosed at the initial visit, and (4) the follow-up treatment must be administered by a medical doctor, chiropractor physician, doctor of osteopath, a dentist, physician assistant or ARNP (advanced registered nurse practitioner). If all of these conditions are met, two levels of PIP coverage will be available to the injured party. The first level of coverage will provide for $10,000 of emergency medical treatment. The second level of coverage will provide for $2,500 of treatment for injuries not diagnosed at the initial visit.
The new statute goes on to define emergency medical treatment as “medical conditions manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, which may include severe pain, such that the absence of immediate medical attention would be reasonably expected to result in any of the following: (1) serious jeopardy to the patient’s health, (2) serious impairment to bodily function, or (3) serious dysfunction of an bodily organ or part.”
The main problem arising from this statute is the extensive litigation that will occur between insurance companies and injured parties. As with many new statutes, the language of what constitutes “emergency medical treatment” will cause much confusion for the courts to figure out. As a result, victims of automobile accidents will receive less coverage for their medical expenses and increase the cost of litigation.
The problems raised by the new Florida PIP Insurance law, makes it more important than ever to obtain qualified representation, such as Marvin Schulman, in order for victims to receive the most compensation possible for their injuries and medical costs.
The Schulman Law Group has helped thousands of car accident personal injury victims and has obtained millions of dollars in compensation for them. We have the experience and the resources to assist you and your family through each of the difficulties you may face and will work hard to obtain the most compensation for each of our clients.
In most cases, we will get your lost wages, medical bills, property damage and other related costs reimbursed to you without charging any fee. We will take over the burden of exclusively dealing with your own insurance company. Even if you are not sure if you were at fault, please consult with us immediately.