Did you know that there has been, over the last few years, an effort in the Florida legislature to get rid of PIP? In fact, Personal Injury Insurance/Personal Injury Protection (also known as PIP, for short), which has been a part of Florida’s law since the 1970s, maybe repealed very soon.
That said, at this point, Florida has still considered a “no-fault” state because it requires all Florida drivers to carry $10,000 of PIP insurance coverage with their auto insurance policies. In this article, we will first discuss some reasons why PIP insurance coverage can be a good thing for drivers in an accident, and then we will discuss the details of Florida’s PIP insurance.
If after reading this blog, you have additional questions about your own circumstances, we welcome you to contact the seasoned personal injury insurance attorneys at Crary Buchanan. At Crary Buchanan, we are proud of our standard of excellence, which has allowed us to thrive as one of the oldest law firms on Florida’s Treasure Coast.
Our personal injury insurance attorneys are passionate about giving you the highest quality representation. Call us today at 772-287-2600, or schedule a free estate planning to consult online with our online contact form.
Is PIP – Personal Injury Insurance – a Good Thing?
Given the recent efforts to remove the requirement of PIP coverage from Florida’s law books, it might be helpful to understand what PIP coverage is meant to do.
Consider the example where you are hit by another driver in a car accident, while you are driving a few friends to the store. Also, consider that one of your friends is injured in the accident. The question becomes, how would your friend get medical care?
While you may have health insurance for you and your family, your health insurance would not extend to your passenger who is not a family member. Also, collecting from the other driver’s insurance may take some time, and your friend needs immediate medical care.
In that scenario, PIP coverage would kick in to pay for minor medical injuries for your friend immediately. The coverage would be provided regardless of who is at fault for the accident. The key is that you do not have to wait for the insurance companies to figure out how is at fault and pay accordingly. Rather, PIP allows some coverage right away.
Currently, about 15 states in the U.S. require drivers to carry a minimum amount of PIP insurance. As noted, Florida drivers are required to carry a minimum (and maximum) of $10,000 in PIP coverage.
What Does PIP Cover?
PIP generally covers three types of costs that may result from a car accident.
1. Medical bills
2. Lost income
3. Death benefits
We often hear stories about how expensive an ambulance ride to the hospital is, or how expensive it is to stay in a hospital for even one night. Those prohibitive expenses sometimes dissuade people in a car accident from seeking medical treatment at all. That is not a good thing.
One of the most important things you can do after a car accident is to get immediate medical attention to make sure that you have your injuries treated. Also, it is good to have a record of the injuries you suffered right after a car accident, rather than run the risk of having an insurance company later deny you coverage because you did not seek medical treatment in a timely manner.
With regard to medical bills, keep in mind that PIP coverage in Florida will only pay 80% of your medical costs. So, if you receive a bill for $10,000, PIP coverage will pay $8,000. Further, if your medical treatment was not for an emergency, then PIP coverage maxes out at $2,500.
Are There Time Limits in Filing a PIP Claim?
Yes. You need to make sure that your injuries from a car accident are treated within two weeks of the accident so that you can have PIP coverage reimburse you for your medical bills.
It is possible that your insurance company will investigate to make sure that your PIP claim is not fraudulent. In those circumstances, you would be wise to obtain the services of an experienced personal injury insurance attorney to assist you, so that you get the coverage you deserve.
Does a PIP Claim Stop Me from Filing a Lawsuit?
No. In Florida, no-fault PIP coverage still allows you to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party to the accident. You cannot sue, however, unless your expenses are more than $10,000.
Let the Personal Injury Insurance Attorneys at Crary Buchanan Help You.
Vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injury and wrongful death in the nation. Many factors can contribute to a traffic accident, but as noted the primary reason is negligence. Drivers are negligent in a variety of ways. A driver who falls asleep may be considered negligent. When a careless driver causes an accident, you can pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
It doesn’t matter what type of injury you sustained. You have the right to seek compensation if another driver caused you injury – even if you were partially responsible for the accident. Automobile and truck accident injuries can lead to a variety of expenses, and a personal injury claim can compensate you for these costs. Yet, you need the right legal advocate on your side to get full and fair compensation for your damages. If you or someone you love suffered an injury, speak with a Stuart, Martin County personal injury attorney from Crary Buchanan. We want to help you recover the money you need.
At Crary Buchanan, we are committed to providing clients with exceptional service in every aspect of personal injury law. You can depend upon our 85 years of experience in the Florida legal industry.
Our clients are more than case numbers; they are people. We recognize that you are an individual with unique needs and expectations. Our team is here to meet your need and exceed your expectations. When you work with us, you can have confidence that a caring legal advocate is on your side.
There is no need to be intimidated by making a personal injury claim after an auto or truck accident when you have the support of the talented team at Crary Buchanan. If you have more questions or want a dedicated personal injury attorney to help you, call 772-287-2600 or schedule a free consult online with our online contact form. You can always depend on Crary Buchanan for community, experience, and trust. Call today.