New Personal Injury Protection Laws Now Effective
New motor vehicle accident laws go into effect today, (actually as of 1/1/2013)
along with many other new laws across the nation. Motorists in Florida should now be aware of how the changes will affect them in the event of a car accident. “Personal Injury Protection” is a type of insurance that all motorists in the state of Florida are required to purchase by law. The changes in PIP will now lower the amount of money injury and accident victims can obtain for medical treatment and compensation regardless of the fault paid for by their own insurance company. The laws now create additional obstacles to obtain the full benefits. The laws have been enacted to help combat the questionable medical care, medical bills, fraud, and other forms of what some consider to be questionable treatment such acupuncture. It’s not that you can’t still get this care, the only difference is in the amount of money your insurance will pay for medical treatment and how much they will have to pay. The new law can be found under , House Bill 119.)
Under the new PIP laws, if an insured does not seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident, PIP will not pay any medical expenses. This is different from past PIP laws as there was no time limit to seek benefits until now.
Although there is medical literature that states it is not uncommon injuries to manifest after 14 days after an accident, it also not unusual for people who sustain serious bodily injuries in that time frame. But also, when you consider the the difficulty in obtaining an medical appointment some people may be out of luck under the now existing law in the state of Florida.
Drivers, medical providers, chiropractors, and attorneys handling car accident cases should familiarize themselves with the new provisions. The now current law is that unless the medical treatment is for an “Emergency Medical Condition,” PIP payments will be limited to $2,500. this differs from the prior $10,0000.00 one could obtain. Also emergency medical care is defined in the new legislation as: (1) Serious jeopardy to patient health; (2) serious impairment to bodily function; (3) serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.)
Drivers, medical providers, chiropractors, and attorneys handling car accident cases should familiarize themselves with the motor vehicle accident law provisions. Under the current law unless the medical treatment is for an “Emergency Medical Condition,” PIP payments will be limited to $2,500. Drivers can get up $ 7,500 in benefits for chiropractic care but, a medical doctor has to prescribe the treatment within 48 hours to obtain the maximum benefit under PIP. In years past, drivers and chiropractors could get up to 80% of $10,0000.00 for such treatment prior to the new provisions that have now taken effect. Now the amount they can recover is less. .
Suppose to Lower Insurance Premiums
The auto insurance industry in general has been a strong advocate of these new laws since it claimed it would allow them to lower rates since it now makes it more difficult for injury victims to obtain their no fault benefits. Instead, injury and accident victims will now have to seek reimbursement for medical bills not paid under their PIP provisions from the at fault party. So what that means to the consumer is that they should probably consider purchasing additional bodily injury coverage and other coverage like uninsured motorist protection, since at fault drivers will be financially responsible to compensate accident victims for medical bills that might have been paid under PIP. Under Florida law, drivers are not required to carry bodily injury coverage so if you don’t, you may want to consider it.
The irony in this new legislation is that it’s suppose to have the practical effect of lowering motorists insurance premiums. Or at least in theory, that’s what the insurance industry argued would happen if enacted. Yet, despite the fact the new laws are now in effect insurance companies in Florida still don’t want to lower premiums. Go figure. Law suits are currently being initiated across the state of Florida challenging the constitutionality of these provisions.
For consumers injured in car or motor vehicle accidents retaining competent legal counsel is especially important. If you or someone you know was injured in an auto crash or collision the Miami car accident lawyers of Gerson & Schwartz, PA are here to assist you. For more information or to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys contact (877) 475-2905 or fill out the contact form.
The following commentary does not and should not be construed to be legal advice as any legal advice should be deal with on an individual basis.