What is personal injury protection?
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is mandatory for vehicle owners in the state of Florida. As an extension of auto insurance, PIP covers you and those insured on your policy for medical expenses and other damages resulting from a motor vehicle accident. PIP is also known as “no-fault” coverage because the policyholder will receive reimbursement from his or her insurance provider without needing to prove that another party caused the accident. However, no-fault coverage can also interfere with an injured victim’s right to seek additional compensation from negligent parties in a personal injury claim. Florida’s PIP law is viewed as both a help and a hindrance by legislators and motorists alike, who frequently lobby to have its complex rules and regulations revised. As of January 1, 2013, the latest policy renewal and revisions for Florida’s PIP law went into effect.
Understanding PIP Laws
One of the most important stipulations to remember about Florida’s Personal Injury Protection law is that car accident victims must seek initial medical attention within 14 days of an accident in order to be eligible for any PIP benefits. Failure to receive treatment from a licensed medical professional within the 14-day period will result in forfeiture of your right to obtain insurance coverage.
The amount of PIP medical benefits are based on the severity of the victim’s medical condition following an accident. Benefits include:
- $2,500 for injuries that have not been diagnosed as an emergency medical condition by a medical professional.
- $10,000 for injuries that qualify as an emergency medical condition for posing a serious threat to the patient’s health and bodily functions in the absence of immediate medical care.
- $5,000 in death benefits, in addition to $10,000 in medical and disability benefits.
- 80% of medical bills, such as dental expenses, rehabilitative care, and out-of-pocket prescription costs.
- 60% of lost wages verified by an employer.
- The cost of mileage to and from your medical provider.
Limitations on PIP insurance claims include:
- Not covering massage and acupuncture therapy.
- Not covering the initial medical treatment to diagnose an emergency medical condition, only follow-up services and care related to the diagnosed conditions.
- Possibly not applying to attorney fees in “no-fault” disputes.
Pursuing Compensation for Damages Not Covered by PIP
In order to file a personal injury claim after a motor vehicle accident, the accident victim must have sustained catastrophic injuries, such as spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries, amputation, and paralysis. The maximum PIP coverage may not cover the lifelong costs associated with such serious losses. Through a personal injury claim, you may be able to obtain compensation for the following damages that might not otherwise be covered by PIP.
- Rehabilitative care
- Assistive devices
- Psychiatric therapy
- Medical prescriptions
- Permanent disability
- Occupational therapy
- Lost ability to earn income
A personal injury lawyer at Farah & Farah will be able to evaluate your circumstances and build a strong case to support your right to claim additional financial compensation from the responsible party.
Contact a Personal Injury Protection Coverage Lawyer
After a traffic accident, the last thing you may want to think about is filing for insurance coverage or pursuing legal action. Under Florida law, however, there is an extremely limited time in which you may file for your rightful PIP benefits or pursue a personal injury case. Let the experienced and compassionate lawyers at Farah & Farah protect your best interests and work on your behalf so you can concentrate on your recovery. Do not wait to call us at 877-245-6707 for a free and confidential consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.