In 1971, Florida adopted a No-Fault Auto Insurance System. As a result, all Florida vehicle owners are required to carry Personal Injury Protection coverage which is commonly called PIP. All owners must carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage which is available to pay 80% of your accident-related medical expenses and 60% of any related wage loss as a result of an injury.
During 2012, the Florida Legislature made major changes to the No-Fault Law that can limit the PIP benefits available under your policy and place a short time limit in obtaining the benefits. The changes are being phased in after January 1, 2013.
Here are ten things you need to know about the new PIP Law:
1. If you are involved in any type of vehicle accident, call the police and make sure an accident report is prepared by the police.
2. If you are an occupant of any vehicle involved in an accident, make sure you are listed in the accident report. There is now a presumption that if you are not listed on the report then you were not involved in the accident.
3. Accident victims must now receive medical treatment within 14 days after an accident or there will be no PIP coverage available.
4. There is no longer PIP coverage available for massage therapy and acupuncture.
5. Revised PIP will pay only $2,500 instead of $10,000 in medical benefits unless the injured person has a diagnosed Emergency Medical Condition (EMC).
6. The Legislature has given us a complicated definition for Emergency Medical Condition (EMC). Injury victims should only treat with medical providers who understand the new EMC criteria.
7. You need to know that an EMC can only be diagnosed by a medical doctor (MD/DO), a physician’s assistant, an advanced nurse practitioner, or a dentist.
8. Under the revised PIP Law, a chiropractor is not qualified to diagnose an EMC. A chiropractor can refer an injured patient to a medical provider to evaluate a potential EMC.
9. Accident-related wage loss benefits available under PIP are not affected by the 2012 PIP amendment.
10. “Wait and See” now means “wait and lose” under the revised PIP Law. If you are injured in any type of vehicle accident, you should consult an attorney immediately to make sure you understand the recent changes in the law and to make sure your legal rights are fully protected.
If you have been involved in any type of auto accident, call me immediately for a free discussion about your potential case. With the changes in Florida’s PIP Law, you can’t afford to wait and lose. Contact me at: Toll Free: 1-866-460-1990; After Hours: 1-772-359-0342