Making A Claim With Your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance
Florida is one of the states in the nation that still follows a no-fault insurance plan with regard to automobile insurance (as opposed to a fault system). This means that in the event of an accident, traditional lawsuits are rare, with injured motorists making a claim with their own insurance to try and get their medical bills covered. However, like any insurance company, your personal injury protection (PIP) carrier may give you a hard time before you can get your bills paid.
PIP Insurance Is Required In Florida
Because Florida is a no-fault state, it requires that all drivers carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) coverage, with bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance recommended, but optional. Many drivers remain uninsured – the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates as many as 25 percent of Floridians have no auto insurance at all – but the state requirements remain unchanged. One can have a higher amount of coverage, but the cumulative $20,000 is the minimum.
When a person in Florida is in an auto accident, regardless of whose fault it might have been, they will only bring a lawsuit in rare circumstances; rather, most of the time, they will bring a claim with their PIP carrier for the harms they have suffered. In unusual circumstances, when an injury is very severe and raises above the legal ‘threshold’ of serious injury, a person is allowed to bring suit against the person who injured them, but these cases are comparatively unusual. Most of the time, accident claims in the state are handled by each person’s insurer.
Watch Out For Details
If you are involved in an automobile accident in Florida, the most important thing you can do is seek medical treatment immediately, even if you believe that your injuries are relatively minor. Florida law holds that if you do not seek treatment within 14 days of your accident, any later treatment needed for the injuries coming out of that incident will not be covered by PIP. This means that if you were to avoid medical treatment after the accident and then later on develop, for example, whiplash or another soft tissue injury, you would not be able to claim any of those treatment costs through PIP.
It is also crucial to read the fine print – the law states that PIP, if used appropriately, will not cover every penny of treatment no matter what the nature of your case may be. The law states that it will cover “80 percent of all reasonable expenses for medically necessary [treatment].” Unless you have additional private insurance coverage, you will be responsible for 20 percent of your costs out of pocket. Unless you have an experienced legal professional dealing with your insurance company, it is very possible that you might wind up paying even more.
Call A Tampa Auto Accident Lawyer For Help Today
When you have just been in an accident, your focus should be on recovery, especially if your injuries are severe. The Tampa car accident attorneys at the Rinaldo Law Group are experienced in dealing with private insurance carriers and Medicare/Medicaid, and will work hard to protect your interests while keeping you informed every step of the way. Contact us today for a free consultation.