As you may know, there are some changes to the Sunshine State’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance.
Now it might be a little tougher for you to collect in a collision.
As is stands right now, law in the state of Florida requires all drivers to have insurance coverage for medical bills regardless of who was at fault in an accident. The law says that this coverage has to cover up to 80 percent of medical bills to a maximum of $10,000. The law states that this insurance also has to cover 60 percent of the injured person’s lost wages with work in addition to $10,000 in death benefits should the accident be fatal. Under this insurance, an involved party is restricted in the collection of non-economic damages or pain and suffering compensation, unless they sustained a life-altering and permanent injury in the accident.
Our Naples injury attorneys understand that there are going to be some changes to these laws come the New Year.
Just as an example, consider House Bill 119. This bill states that someone who is injured in an accident is required to get their medical treatment within the two weeks following the accident and they have to see a licensed physician, hospital, dentist or D.O. The PIP coverage will be covering these expenses, but only if the treatment is performed within this two-week period. If you want treatment after the first two weeks, then you’re going to need professional referral with a medical diagnosis. That diagnosis also has to be made on that first initial visit otherwise you’re “out of luck.”
What’s even worse is that House Bill 119 places restrictions and limitations on the medical benefits allowed through PIP. If you’ve got a medical condition considered as an “emergency” then you’d better hope it’s under $10,000. If you’ve got any medical condition diagnoses after the first visit, then you’re only covered for $2,500.
It gets even worse — as state legislatures bowed to a virtual laundry-list of restrictions on your PIP coverage long-sought by lobbyists for the insurance industry. No where in this equation did the politicians have the best interests of the voters at heart.
There are strict definitions on what an “emergency medical condition” is. To help to ditch the confusion, companies could order victims to visit with a doctor of the insurance company’s choosing to verify the injuries. If a victim does not go to these required examinations or if that doctor doesn’t agree with the initial diagnoses, the PIP coverage could be at risk.
The changes made to Florida’s PIP coverage could cause accident victims some serious problems. Now, the coverage might not cover what should be considered to be necessary and reasonable. Many believe that medical expenses are going to be left in the victim’s hands — hands that cannot afford these costs.
It’s also going to be a problem in identifying injuries. Sometimes, injuries are not discovered upon the first visit to the doctor. In many cases, accident injuries are not noticed or diagnosed until days, weeks, months and even years after an accident occurs.
Because of these changes, it’s now more important than ever for the victim of an accident to contact an experience and aggressive attorney to help you to fight for your rights and for the compensation that you deserve!