The leading Fort Lauderdale personal injury protection lawyers at Anidjar & Levine are dedicated to ensuring Florida drivers are protected in the event of an accident. We have helped numerous drivers find coverage and recover compensation for personal injury, regardless of fault. Our firm provides superior legal representation to clients across Florida.
Personal injury protection (PIP), also known as Florida No Fault Insurance, protects drivers against liability for personal injury regardless of fault. This means you are covered for damages arising from an accident, whether or not you caused the crash. Because the damages for medical costs and out-of-pocket expenses can be financially crippling, having PIP is important.
PIP covers your children, members of your household, and certain passengers who do not have personal injury insurance. Passengers in your car who already have PIP are protected under their own policy for their injuries, as are drivers who operate your vehicle with your consent.
In addition to accidents that involve your car, PIP also covers your children if they suffer an injury while riding on a school bus. It likewise protects you when you are a passenger in someone else’s vehicle. PIP even covers you when you are walking or riding a bike and suffer an injury in an accident involving another car.
Florida law requires a minimum coverage of $10,000 in PIP to maintain a Florida license plate and registration. This is to cover lost wages and medical expenses, including medical care provided by various health care workers who test, diagnose, and treat the injury. These expenses can include doctors, lab technicians, acupuncturists, and even massage therapists.
Changes in Florida PIP Law
The state legislature recently amended the law, altering the benefits available to insured individuals who are harmed in an accident. The new law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2013, limits the $10,000 coverage solely to injured parties who sustain an “emergency medical condition” (EMC). An EMC is defined by “acute symptoms” of such severity that the lack of immediate medical attention would seriously endanger or severely impair patient health.
Ultimately, the physician evaluating the claimant and insurance companies studying the doctor’s reports will determine whether the injured party has suffered an EMC. If so, the injured party may receive the full $10,000; if not, only $2,500 will be available to cover your medical expenses, even if you paid for $10,000 in coverage.
Another important change under the new law is that injured parties must receive initial services and care for their condition within 14 days after the accident. If you wait longer than two weeks, you forfeit your right to PIP coverage and none of your medical treatment will be paid by insurance. With regard to ongoing treatment, the new law only covers follow-up services if they are “consistent with the underlying medical diagnosis.” Further, massage therapy and acupuncture are no longer covered by PIP, even if they are recommended by your physician.
If you are involved in an accident involving personal injury or have questions about how the new PIP law will affect you, the Fort Lauderdale personal injury protection attorneys at Anidjar & Levine can help. We can even review your policy for free and make recommendations on how to supplement your insurance with coverage you should have. Our firm has successfully handled all types of personal injury cases, helping drivers recover compensation for their injuries after an accident. Call 800-747-3733 for a free consultation or contact us online.