What is Personal Injury Protection?
All drivers who have auto insurance in Florida have something called “no fault” insurance as part of their premium, otherwise known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP). PIP covers up to $10,000 worth of costs related to injuries or lost wages if you are in an automobile accident. Furthermore, it does not matter if the accident was your fault, or another driver’s fault. This benefit is available anytime an accident occurs. Think of PIP as an addition to typical car insurance that protects your body if you are in an accident where you sustain injuries. Read on to find out more about personal injury protection.
In the past, PIP was susceptible to fraud from attorneys and doctors. Why would this happen? Injuries from auto accidents could be fabricated or exaggerated, making room for fake claims. Attorneys could refer clients to doctors who would then diagnose false illnesses, and receive a cut from the doctor in return for the referral. The insurance company would have a difficult time proving that an injury was falsified if it was their word against a shady doctor’s.
Thanks to new laws, this practice has been cut back drastically. In 2012, Florida lawmakers approved new laws to reduce insurance fraud. As of January 1, 2013, there are new laws to Florida PIP benefits. Consequently, these laws reduce insurance fraud by placing limitations on what PIP covers. Additionally, these new laws reduced PIP benefits for everyone, not just fraudulent PIP clinics that appeared in the state. Specifically, the new law requires the following:
Timeline. You have 14 days to seek medical care for injuries if you were injured in a car accident.
Diagnosis. You must be diagnosed with an emergency medical condition by a qualified doctor (MD, DO, dentist or advanced nurse practitioner) in order to receive the $10,000.
Definition. An emergency medical condition is anything that causes serious impairments to your health, your bodily functions, or your organs/body parts.
Benefit. The benefit is reduced to $2,500 if you are not diagnosed with an emergency medical condition.
It’s important to seek follow-up care after an accident in order to have a successful recovery. The money that the insurance company provides to those who have been injured in a car accident is designed to go towards follow-up care services. These include services from professionals like chiropractors, dentists, physicians, physician assistants and advanced nurse practitioners. It is important to note that the new law does not cover massage therapy or acupuncture.
Now that you know how to answer the question “what is personal injury protection?”, make sure you receive maximum compensation. If you have recently been in an automobile accident and need assistance, SteinLaw is staffed with experienced attorneys who can assist you.