understanding Florida PIP coverage before an automobile accident

In March 2012, primary attention was focused on PIP Insurance by the Florida legislator with Governor Rick Scott's blessing. PIP coverage for those in motor vehicle accidents has changed dramatically. Moreover, there is so much uncertainty and ambiguity with the new law that automobile accident attorneys and personal injury lawyers will be filing more lawsuits to get direction from the courts on how the law is to be applied.


1.  PIP coverage is mandatory insurance for those persons that have a vehicle registered in Florida. It is "no fault" insurance that covers you and certain others that need care and treatment following an automobile accident. Normally, with certain exceptions, the first $10,000.00 in medical care is covered by your insurance; not the party that caused the accident.
 
2.  You are responsible for your medical treatment; regardless of who is at fault for the initial $10,000.00 in medical services. All care received after that, your automobile accident attorney attempts to get compensation/money from the "at fault" driver, to recoup any out of pocket expenses. PIP Insurance also covers you for a percentage of any lost wages you have from the accident injury. The initial $10,000.00 coverage takes into account both medical care and lost wages.
 
3.  The new PIP law now requires that a doctor, not chiropractor or other health care provider, examine you to determine if there is an emergency medical condition; or your PIP benefits ($10,000.00) are dramatically reduced to $2,500.00. The new PIP law also requires a patient to get care within 14 days of the accident. If you do not get medical care within 14 days, you get no PIP benefits.
 
4.  As you can see, time is of the essence following an automobile accident. If you delay in seeking care, you risk losing benefits including medical coverage and lost wages.   Automobile Accidents happen. You must make sure you know what to do when this occurs. Remember, don't delay or your PIP benefits will go away!
 
Mark D. Dickstein is Managing Partner for The Dickstein Law Firm. The Dickstein Law Firm, a law firm located in Pembroke Pines, FL, represents clients involved in personal injury lawsuits, wrongful death claims, automobile accidents, product liability cases, workers' compensation claims, retaliatory discharge lawsuits, medical malpractice claims, slip and fall injuries, property loss disputes, hurricane damage losses and music business law agreements and disputes. To learn more, please visit the law firm's website at www.flahurt.com.
 
Please do not consider the content contained in this article as a substitute for actual legal advice from counsel who has been retained and/or consulted with, as most cases have their own unique set of facts and require detailed information to properly analyze and form an appropriate legal strategy. This article is intended for informational purposes only.

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