Florida's New Pip Law

By Adam Baron, Esq.

Starting January 1, 2013, a new law has gone in to effect concerning everyone of Florida's drivers and passengers. The legislature has made severe restrictions to the amount of care that you can receive once you get injured in a car accident.

One major change is that in order to even be able to take advantage of your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance after you have been injured in an accident, you have to receive initial medical care within the first 14 days of the accident. This may not seem too unreasonable at first glance but imagine a scenario where you have an accident while you are away on vacation in another part of the state. You know you're hurt but don't want to bother with going to a local hospital or clinic and decide to tough it out until you get back. If you call your own doctor and she can't see you till the following week, your first visit could easily fall outside of the 14 days and you could have jeopardized getting any PIP benefits to pay for your medical care.

Another major change is the amount of benefits you will be entitled to. Last year, if you were injured, you would be entitled to a full $10,000 worth of coverage. This year you may only be limited to only $2500 in total benefits if your injury is not considered an "emergency medical condition." What constitutes an emergency medical condition? Nobody knows, at least not yet. The definition is not found in the new PIP statute so it will be up to the courts to construe this language. To be on the safe side, it would behoove EVERY auto accident victim to go to the emergency room from every accident scene to make sure that they would qualify for the full $10,000. Theoretically, you could be in a situation where you develop back pain after the accident and months later it gets worse necessitating a surgery, and still not qualify for the full $10,000 in PIP benefits because no doctor demand your injury an "emergency medical condition."

At the Law Offices of Adam Baron, with offices in Miami, Coral Springs, Naples, and Ft. Myers, I will help you with your automobile accident and of course any questions that may arise during your case. In these times of unsettled new legislation, it's best to have someone, like myself, fighting for everything that you may be entitled to under the law.

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