Protecting Yourself Through PIP Insurance
Having auto insurance is not only important in the event of an accident; it is required in order to operate a vehicle legally throughout the country. Generally, auto insurance is thought of as a way to compensate a person who gets into an accident for property damage caused by the policyholder. However, in some states the law requires all drivers to carry auto insurance geared at specifically protecting themselves from personal injury and economic loss in the event of an accident. In these so called “no fault insurance” states, drivers are required to obtain motor vehicle personal injury protection (PIP) insurance as part of their coverage.
Who can be covered under your policy?
Florida law requires drivers and vehicle owners to carry PIP insurance that covers the insured for a minimum of $10,000. This coverage is supposed to pay the driver’s or vehicle owner’s medical bills and lost wages in the event of an auto accident even if the accident was his fault. The insurance company should pay 80 percent of the injured PIP insured’s medical expenses and 60 percent of lost income due to the accident if certain conditions are met. PIP insurance can also pay up to $5,000 per individual in death benefits.
An insured person’s PIP insurance can also protect other family members who are in the vehicle at the time of an accident, or even a minor child who is injured while riding the school bus. In order to ensure that your dependents are adequately covered, you should check the details of your policy. Additionally, other people who are injured in your vehicle through no fault of their own, who have their own PIP insurance, would be paid under their individual policies.
Limitations of PIP
Due to the requirement that drivers and vehicle owners carry PIP insurance, Florida law also limits the instances in which injured people may sue for pain and suffering, mental anguish and other such damages. However, there are some exceptions to these limits, for example in the event of a permanent disability due to the accident.
In 2013 changes to Florida’s PIP law went into effect in an effort to curb what was seen as an abuse of the system through the filing of fraudulent claims. The changes included limiting the length of time that an injured person had to seek certain medical treatment in order to receive reimbursement, putting a cap on reimbursement for non-emergency medical treatment, and requiring certain certifications from healthcare professionals before claims could be paid. These changes are said to have curbed the fraud and reduced the cost of obtaining PIP insurance. However, the changes are also said to have weakened the protections for injured people. Some of the changes are still being challenged in Florida courts.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Auto Accident Attorney
If you are seriously injured in an auto accident, you should consult with an experienced auto accident attorney to guide you through the claims process and advise you on how you may recover for medical injuries above the $10,000 limit of PIP insurance. Before you settle or sign any releases with the insurance companies, contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale auto accident attorney at Boone & Davis.