Boca Raton, FL (PRWEB) December 10, 2012
Recent changes in Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance may make it more difficult to recover compensation from negligent parties in an auto accident, Boca Raton personal injury attorneys predict.
Currently, Florida law requires that all drivers maintain PIP insurance, which helps ensure that individuals who are injured in car accidents have coverage for medical bills, regardless of whether or not they were at fault for the accident. Under Florida law (Title XXXVII, 627.736), PIP insurance covers up to 80% of medical bills up to a maximum of $10,000, 60% of the injured party’s lost wages, as well as a $10,000 death benefit in the case of a fatal accident. Part of the legislation that established PIP insurance as a requirement in the state of Florida also placed a restriction on the ability of an accident victim to recover non-economic damages from the responsible party, and compensation for pain and suffering, unless he or she has sustained a permanent injury. Nonetheless, despite this restriction, individuals injured in accidents up until now have been free to pursue economic damages arising from the accident, including compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other similar types of expenses.
However, Boca Raton personal injury attorneys report that the Florida legislature has enacted revisions to the existing PIP insurance laws that will take effect on January 1, 2013. For instance, under the provisions of House Bill (HB) 119, a person who sustains injuries in an accident must seek initial medical treatment for those injuries within fourteen days of the accident from a licensed physician, D.O., dentist, chiropractic physician, or hospital. PIP insurance will only cover these medical expenses if initial treatment is received within that timeframe and any follow-up medical treatment must be made upon the referral of a M.D., D.O., or D.C., consistent with the medical diagnosis given on initial visit.
Furthermore, HB 119 also contains specific monetary limits on the PIP medical benefits available. Treatment of an emergency medical condition is limited to $10,000.00, and treatment of any emergency medical condition that is not initially diagnosed is limited to $2,500.00. The new PIP statute also provides a relatively strict definition of what constitutes an “emergency medical condition.” According to the bill, insurance companies also can require injury victims to undergo independent medical examinations by a doctor of their own choosing, and if victims fail to attend those examinations, or if the doctor disagrees with the victim’s diagnosis, PIP coverage may not be available.
Boca Raton personal injury attorneys predict that Florida’s new PIP law will bring about major changes for accident victims in the near future. As a result of these restrictions, PIP insurance may not cover all reasonable and necessary medical expenses for injury victims, particularly with respect to injuries that are not immediately apparent following an accident. Due to these changes in Florida’s existing PIP law, those injured in an accident due to the negligence of another should consult a Boca Raton personal injury attorney.
The Boca Raton personal injury attorneys of Shiner Law Group serve clients in personal injury cases throughout the state of Florida. The firm focuses its practice on automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, trucking accidents, wrongful death cases, nursing home cases, medical malpractice, and other types of complex civil litigation.
Shiner Law Group
95 South Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33432
561-368-3363 / Toll-Free 855-368-3363