Tampa Accident Attorneys Help Clients Secure Benefits Under Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Law
State auto insurance rule authorizes assistance for victims before fault is determined
Auto accident claims can be difficult to resolve because claimants generally have to prove that someone else was at fault for their injuries. Litigating those claims in court can take a long time, and in the meantime, injured parties might not be reimbursed for medical costs. Some states have enacted no-fault insurance laws, which limit a party’s right to sue in exchange for a quick insurance settlement regardless of fault. Florida has taken a different approach with its Personal Injury Protection (PIP) law, which provides for timely insurance payments, but does not restrict an injured party’s right to sue an at-fault driver for personal injury damages. From our offices in Tampa and Sarasota, our auto accident attorneys at Sessums Law Group, P.A. help clients get the full benefit of PIP coverage, while advancing their claims for appropriate personal injury compensation.
What is the Florida PIP statute?
Passed in 2012, Florida PIP law requires drivers to purchase $10,000 in personal injury protection in addition to liability insurance. PIP covers the policyholder, members of the insured’s household and passengers who might be traveling with them at the time of the accident.
What does PIP insurance cover in Florida?
To receive PIP benefits, covered persons must seek medical attention within 14 days of the car accident. As long as the first visit occurs within 14 days, PIP will pay for ongoing care. PIP covers 80 percent of medical expenses up to $10,000 when an accident causes an emergency medical condition. A qualified medical professional must provide a diagnosis that the condition is an immediate threat to the person’s health. Covered parties seeking treatment for a non-emergency condition are allowed up to $2,500 in reimbursements.
If a covered person is unable to work due to the accident, PIP provides disability benefits, which include 60 percent of:
- Gross income lost
- Lost future earning capacity
- Household services required due to the disability
In the case of a fatal accident, PIP pays a death benefit of up to $5,000 for each deceased person.
How do PIP claims work?
The most important step is for the covered person to get an emergency medical care (EMC) designation for treatment within 14 days of the accident. You can get an EMC from a hospital emergency room or from other healthcare providers, such as physicians and chiropractors. Virtual appointments are a legal method of getting an EMC designation. Once you have the EMC, you can file a claim with your own insurance company. The insurer than has 30 days to provide payment.
What are some reasons your PIP claim might be denied?
Sometimes, accident victims have trouble securing the PIP benefit they’re entitled to. Your insurance company could deny your claim, giving reasons such as:
- Invalid EMC — You must have received emergency medical care to claim the full benefit amount of $10,000.
- Treatment started too late — You must have started treatment within 14 days of the accident.
- Fraud — Insurance fraud is a real concern for the industry, but PIP law states the company must issue payment within 30 days even if they suspect fraud.
If you believe your claim has been denied unfairly, you should immediately contact an experienced auto accident attorney to uphold your rights under your auto insurance policy.
Contact a car accident attorney for your PIP insurance claim in Tampa or Sarasota
Sessums Law Group, P.A. helps motorists, passengers and pedestrians collect PIP benefits after auto accidents in the Tampa area. To speak with a lawyer who will give your case the personalized attention it deserves, call us at 813-435-5058 or contact us online. We offer free consultations in our Tampa office or in your hospital room, as necessary. We also have offices in Lakeland, Sebring and Sarasota.