Understanding the New PIP Law - The Short Version
Under Florida law, all drivers are required to carry "no fault" or PIP insurance in the amount of $10,000 to cover your own injuries and lost wages that result from auto accidents, regardless of whether the accident is your own fault or the fault of the other driver.
In 2012 the Florida legislature voted to approve new laws aimed at reducing insurance fraud in the state, and did so by placing restrictions and limitations on PIP coverage. Auto insurance fraud may be a problem in Florida, however the new PIP changes address the issue by reducing benefits for everyone, not just fraudulent PIP clinics. Florida's new personal injury protection (PIP) law went into effect January 1, 2013.
The new PIP law in a nutshell:
1. You must seek medical care for injuries resulting from an auto accident within 14 days of the accident, or no PIP benefits will be paid.
2. You must be diagnosed with an emergency medical condition or EMC (See definition below) in order to receive the $10,000.00 of PIP benefits that you are required to carry.
3. If you are not diagnosed with an emergency medical condition, your PIP benefits are reduced to $2,500.00
4. Only a medical doctor (MD), osteopathic physician (DO), dentist (DDS) or advanced registered nurse practitioner, are allowed to make the emergency medical condition (EMC) diagnosis.
5. Massage therapy and acupuncture are no longer covered under the new law.
What is an EMC?
"Emergency medical condition" means a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, which may include severe pain, such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in any of the following:
(a) Serious jeopardy to patient health.
(b) Serious impairment to bodily functions.
(c) Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.
Follow Up Care
After the initial visit to a medical provider within 14 days, the law provides for follow up care. Followup services and care consistent with the underlying medical diagnosis which may be provided, supervised, ordered, or prescribed only by a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459, a chiropractic physician licensed under chapter 460, a dentist licensed under chapter 466, or, to the extent permitted by applicable law and under the supervision of such physician, osteopathic physician, chiropractic physician, or dentist, by a physician assistant licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 or an advanced registered nurse practitioner licensed under chapter 464.
What should you do?
If you have been injured in a accident now more than ever it is essential to contact a auto accident lawyer to protect your rights. An experienced personal injury law firm will be able to pursue your case and if need be take the case to court where a jury of your peers will decide on compensation - not the insurance company. For more information or for a free consultation, contact Scott and Fenderson, PA Injury and Family Law Attorneys, by calling 727-321-0099 or view our web site www.scottandfenderson.com