The Florida legislature recently made major changes to the mandatory automobile insurance coverage know as Personal Injury Protection or PIP. For decades, PIP provided $10,000 of coverage to pay for 80% of all reasonable and necessary medical expenses incurred as a result of injuries sustained in a car wreck. This was a consumer friendly insurance law with the goal of making sure injured people had access to needed medical care.
However, the new law includes several changes that will greatly affect the benefits available to you if you are injured in an incident that entitles you to Personal Injury Protection benefits. Some of the major changes that will be effective January 1, 2013, include:
- If you are injured, you must seek medical attention within fourteen (14) days from the date of the incident. If you do not, your automobile insurance company will not pay for any medical expenses even if you need medical care.
- After your initial evaluation, any follow up treatment must be at the referral of a doctor, chiropractor or dentist. If you seek follow up care that is not authorized, PIP will not pay for it.
- In order for you to be entitled to the full $10,000 in PIP coverage, your medical provider must determine you have an “emergency medical condition,” meaning the symptoms are severe (including severe pain) and the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in serious jeopardy to your health, serious impairment to bodily function, or serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.
- If a medical provider determines you need future medical treatment, but you do not have an “emergency medical condition,” your automobile insurance company will only pay $2,500 for medical treatment even if your policy limit was $10,000.
For these reasons and others, it is important to get prompt and appropriate medical treatment. If you have been injured, we can help you determine what benefits are available. Call one of ourpersonal injury lawyers today.