What Is PIP and How Does It Work in Florida?
PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection. Most Floridian drivers know that the law expects them to have Personal Injury Protection on their insurance policy. However, many drivers do not understand how PIP works. Florida is among the few states that have PIP. Other states that require drivers to have PIP insurance include Hawaii, Kentucky, New Jersey, Oregon, Delaware, and Michigan.
After an auto accident, the process of filing a claim and waiting to receive compensation for injuries is frustrating. In some circumstances, people have to wait for months to receive compensation. The good news is that PIP helps Floridians get compensation faster without considering fault. Injured parties can receive up to $10,000 worth of compensation.
Keep reading to understand precisely how PIP works in Florida.
How Much Coverage Do You Need To Carry?
In Florida, you are required to carry no less than $10,000 worth of PIP insurance. You can opt to go higher than $10,000, but you cannot go below that amount.
Who Is Covered Under PIP?
In Florida, PIP covers owners of motor vehicles. If you want, you can also cover any member of your household who does not own a car.
PIP coverage also covers pedestrians and cyclists who are injured by at-fault drivers.
What Is Covered by PIP?
- Medical Costs
In Florida, PIP covers a variety of medical costs. Some of the medical expenses PIP covers include;
- Rehabilitation costs
- Ambulatory services
- Surgical services
If you or someone covered under your PIP insurance suffers injuries after an auto accident, PIP will cover 80% of the medical bills. For example, if the bills add up to $10,000, the insurance will pay $8,000. However, if an expert feels that the injuries are not an emergency, the insurer will only pay $2,500.
According to Florida law, an emergency medical condition is one that involves acute symptoms of enough severity that would lead to the following outcomes if not medically attended to immediately;
- Severe damage to bodily functions
- Severe dysfunction of a bodily part or organ
- Serious jeopardy to the health of an individual
It is crucial to note that PIP does not cover all treatment options. One of the treatments not covered under PIP is acupuncture.
- Lost Wages
If you cannot work after an auto accident, PIP insurance will cover 60% of your lost wages. PIP also compensates you for costs of services that you can no longer provide after the accident, such as cleaning.
To receive compensation for lost wages, your insurer will most likely ask for a “Wage and Salary Verification.” Your employer is the one that fills out the verification. It is from that document that your insurer will know the amount they need to pay you.
- Death Benefits
In case of death, the policyholder’s survivors receive up to $5,000 from PIP. The amount can be used to cater for funeral and burial expenses.
Filing a PIP Claim in Florida
After being involved in a Florida auto accident, you need to seek medical treatment within 14 days. Because of the PIP 14-day rule, failure to receive treatment within that time could make you ineligible for PIP reimbursement. Even if you are unsure you sustained injuries after an accident, it is wise for you to seek medical attention within two weeks.
It is crucial to note that after filing a claim, you do not receive compensation immediately. Insurance companies have fallen victim to fraud many times, and because of that, any PIP claim undergoes thorough scrutiny. Your insurer will investigate your claim, and you might receive compensation within thirty days.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are known to frustrate clients. When the insurer does not cooperate with you, it would be best to involve a personal injury attorney.
PIP Laws Allow Individuals To File Lawsuits in Some Circumstances
Even though Florida is a no-fault state, you can sue an at-fault party in specific circumstances. You can only sue if you sustained a serious injury or if you have suffered losses that exceed $10,000. Florida law clearly outlines the types of injuries considered serious. They include;
- Injuries that cause noteworthy and permanent scarring
- Injuries that lead to the permanent loss of any bodily function
Difference Between a PIP Claim and a Standard Personal Injury Claim
You can collect damages for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering when you sue an at-fault party, but a PIP claim does not allow you to collect such damages.
Allow a Naples Personal Injury To Help You Today
If you have been hurt after an auto accident and need help with your PIP claim, contact a Naples personal injury attorney at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A. at 239-649-8050 today to schedule a consultation.