Florida is one of the ten states that require car insurance with personal injury protection, generally known as “PIP” or “no-fault.” Regardless of whether the collision was their fault or the fault of the other motorist, Florida’s PIP regulations require drivers to have insurance in the amount of $10,000 to cover their own injuries and lost wages.
PIP Benefits in Florida
Auto Insurance Without Fault
The individual who caused the car accident is liable to the other party for any damages or injuries sustained as a result of the accident. State-by-state variations in liability rules affect who is responsible for paying for damages following a vehicle collision.
In the US, “no-fault” liability statutes have been implemented by around half of the states. According to no-fault responsibility legislation, each person involved in an automobile accident is expected to pay for their own damages.
Regardless of responsibility, no-fault insurance reimburses insureds for losses caused by their own insurance firm. However, many jurisdictions offer an exemption to no-fault liability statutes when a person suffers a serious bodily injury or property damage that totals more than a certain sum. States with at-fault responsibility rules, however, mandate that the party responsible for the collision compensate all parties.
What is Covered by PIP?
Personal injury protection coverage often covers medical costs resulting from a car accident. These often include fundamental expenditures like medical bills, prescription charges, and surgical costs. Each state may have a different definition of “medical expenditures” for PIP purposes. Acupuncture, for example, might be covered by PIP in Florida but not in other places like California.
PIP may also cover other costs, such as lost pay brought on by the accident. For example, if an employee is wounded in a car accident and misses work because they had to go to the hospital, PIP may allow them to recover lost wages.
Special Guidelines for Owners of No-Fault Policies
No-fault insurance, as previously said, compensates insureds for losses caused by their own insurance business, regardless of fault. No-fault auto insurance, commonly known as personal injury protection, is available in half of the states.
In general, no-fault insurance shields people from the standard culpability if they injure someone in an accident.
Regardless of who would be liable under conventional at-fault liability laws, no-fault coverage covers bodily injuries to the insured and the insured’s passengers resulting from a car collision.
In lesser accidents, no-fault insurance coverage eliminates injury responsibility claims and lawsuits in return for direct payment of medical expenses and lost earnings by the injured person’s own insurance carrier, regardless of blame. Vehicle damage claims are often not covered by no-fault insurance; instead, you must file a liability claim against the person who caused the accident or turn to your own collision insurance.
Although it is still not required in some places, no-fault insurance is generally accepted as being helpful. It covers your family’s medical costs, those of the people riding in your car, and those of any pedestrians hurt in an accident. Regardless of culpability, the insurance pays out to cover these expenses. (It excludes any type of property damage.)
Personal Injury Protection is another name for the medical benefits of a no-fault policy.
For injuries that meet a particular standard, claims for pain and suffering compensation are allowed in required no-fault jurisdictions. States have different minimums for this quantity. States with “monetary” thresholds demand that a certain dollar amount be claimed in order to qualify for relief. The wounded party must show a normatively determined level of injury, such as “severe and permanent,” in states with “verbal” thresholds.
Eight states use hybrid systems. With hybrid systems, third-party liability insurance is supplemented by no-fault coverage.
There are no case filing restrictions for these states. All current no-fault systems allow claims and recovery against at-fault drivers to pay economic losses in excess of the no-fault benefits.
The Florida PIP Law
On January 1st, 2013, Florida implemented new legislation. The bill introduces additional PIP coverage restrictions in an effort to decrease insurance fraud. A car accident victim must now seek medical attention for their injuries within 14 days after the collision, according to the new rule.
The wounded party cannot receive PIP compensation if this is the case. Due to an injunction, some more provisions of the new PIP law have not yet taken effect (more details below).
Florida’s New PIP Law
A lawsuit was filed by a group of chiropractors, massage therapists, and acupuncturists to contest the following provisions of Florida’s new law:
- A person must be identified as having an emergency medical condition (“EMC”) in order to be eligible for $10,000 in PIP benefits.
- A person can only get $2,500 in PIP compensation if they are not identified as having an emergency medical condition (or “EMC”).
- Only the medical professionals listed below can diagnose an emergency medical condition (EMC):
- Medical expert (MD)
- Dentist and osteopathic physician (DDS)
- A doctoral-level registered nurse practitioner
Massage and acupuncture services are no longer covered by PIP compensation for wounded people.
Right now, the constitutionality of these measures is being decided by a Florida court. A temporary injunction has been put on the clauses as a result of the litigation. That indicates that certain provisions are currently not in effect.
What is an Emergency Medical Condition (EMC)?
An emergency medical condition (EMC) is defined as “a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, including severe pain, such that it is reasonably anticipated that failure to seek immediate medical attention will seriously jeopardize the patient’s health or seriously impair bodily functions or seriously dysfunction any bodily organ or part.”
In other words, if a person’s symptoms are severe enough to suggest that they require immediate medical attention, then they have an “emergency medical condition.”
What Legal Matters Should PIP Beneficiaries Take Into Account?
PIP often works for the insured’s benefit because the insurance company will cover losses regardless of fault (thus the “no-fault” label). The insurance company is typically compensated by the opposing party’s insurance company, aiding in the parties’ ability to avoid direct conflict.
Personal injury protection legislation, however, varies greatly from state to state. What one state would deem to be a “valid expense” might not be covered by PIP in another state.
Other factors may also influence the range of coverage. For instance, PIP might be accessible in some jurisdictions even if the accident is the subject of an active worker’s compensation claim. Some states might not permit coverage in these circumstances. As a result, if you have any questions about the PIP rules in your region, you should check your state laws or speak with a lawyer.
It can be challenging to determine what is and is not covered by insurance if you have incurred costs as a result of a vehicle accident or another personal injury circumstance. In order to properly resolve costs that are not covered by insurance, further legal action may be necessary. For instance, a formal lawsuit would be necessary to get punitive damages for malicious injuries or other such damages.
Should I Seek Legal Advice?
A knowledgeable Florida auto accident lawyer should be consulted if you have been hurt in a car accident there. Your lawyer will be able to interpret Florida legislation, assess your situation, and assist you in making a decision.
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