If you have been involved in a car accident, you need to know about PIP insurance. PIP, or Personal Injury Protection, is the generic phrase used in Florida to describe the medical and wage coverage available for the policyholder and others to pay medical bills and lost wages after you have had a car accident.
Florida is one of the few states that still have Personal Injury Protection No-Fault auto insurance. Florida's intention in making PIP mandatory was to provide insured drivers up to $10,000 in immediate medical coverage in lieu of establishing fault through the court system after a car accident. As stated by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, “the goal was to reduce payment delay for insured drivers, as well as limit the utilization of the court system."
In Florida, PIP coverage is required to be purchased by ALL owners of motor vehicles registered in the state of Florida. PIP coverage makes the individual responsible for their own injuries in a motor vehicle accident, regardless of which driver is at fault for the car accident.
In recent years, the amount of PIP claims and PIP payments has skyrocketed despite the fact that the number of drivers and the number of accidents has remained relatively constant. In fact, the National Insurance Crime Bureau lists Florida as having several cities reporting the highest amount of “questionable claims” in the country.
PIP premiums represent roughly 2% of Florida's collected insurance premiums, but PIP issues account for nearly 50% of fraud investigations.
Therefore, the PIP law is constantly changing and being tinkered with by legislature.
Currently, if you own a vehicle, you must insure the vehicle with PIP coverage. Every driver is required to have $10,000 in PIP coverage so that, if involved in an automobile accident, the PIP coverage will pay up to $10,000 for medical bills and lost wages following the accident.
PIP application forms must be submitted to the insurance company along with wage and salary verification forms. These forms need to be completed immediately. Other insurance carriers, such as disability coverages and health insurance companies, should also be notified following an automobile accident.
Unfortunately, while PIP coverage does provide for lost wage payments, you do not automatically receive lost wages. If you have already seen a medical provider and have “assigned” the right to receive PIP benefits to your medical provider, then the doctors may be entitled to get paid for their medical bills before you receive lost wage compensation. It is important to have an attorney evaluate your PIP benefits. You should also be aware, if you have extra medical payment coverage, your policy will cover the 20% of the medical bills that are not covered by PIP. PIP generally reimburses 80% of medical bills up to a maximum of $10,000 after a car accident.
At Steven A. Bagen & Associates, we always highly recommend that people carry extensive medical payment coverage in addition to your PIP coverage. Another important point to remember is that your PIP coverage can vary between $2,500 up to $10,000. This can depend on whether or not your injuries following the car accident are considered “an emergent condition,” which would indicate that you require some type of urgent or emergency care. This can depend on whether or not you have acute symptoms or not.
Lastly, it is important to keep in mind that there are certain time deadlines on all legal cases, including PIP claims. Following an accident, there is a strict requirement that you must seek medical treatment within 14 days. If you do not seek medical treatment within 14 days, your PIP claim will be denied.
At Steven A. Bagen & Associates, we can help you with any PIP questions or any other questions following your car accident.
If you have been injured, call our office at 1-800-BAGEN LAW to discuss your car accident case or any PIP question you may have regarding Personal Injury Protection coverage.