Auto accident claims under Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) system are on the rise across the Sunshine State and particularly in South Florida, according to a recent report.

PIP, Florida’s “no fault” auto insurance program, is designed to quickly provide benefits for a person injured in an automobile accident, regardless of fault. Florida drivers are required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage, which provides payment for medical, wage loss and death benefits resulting from an accident. The system also limits an insured person’s right to sue for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering.

A report from the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) – the state body charged with monitoring the insurance industry – indicates that the number of PIP claims increased 26% to 386,464 statewide in 2010. South Florida, however, saw an even more dramatic jump as PIP claims skyrocketed by 48% and the region’s insurers paid out more than $1 billion in claims.

The OIR report examined PIP claims from 2006 to 2010 as reported by 31 companies that make up more than 80 percent of the state’s property insurance market.

The report comes as Florida lawmakers are considering new PIP legislation that would require medical providers and policyholders to testify under oath and would extend the amount of time insurers have to pay claims from 30 to 90 days when the insurer suspects the claim may not be legitimate. The Sun Sentinel’s Julie Patel reports that “[s]upporters, including insurers and some consumer advocates, say fraudulent PIP claims are driving up premiums and legislation…hasn’t done enough to fight it.”

Almost 236,000 traffic accidents occurred statewide in 2009. Accidents are often caused by negligent operation such as high speed driving, failing to obey traffic signals and distracted driving.

If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident, the South Florida car accident attorneys at Anidjar & Levine, can defend your rights and get you the monetary compensation you deserve. The firm does not collect money unless you collect money.

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