What is the PIP 14-Day Rule in the State of Florida?
Florida can be a dangerous place to drive. According to FIRES (Florida Integrated Report Exchange System), there were more than 400,000 total reported crashes in 2017. Almost 170,000 of these car accidents resulted in injuries. While some car accidents can result in minor injuries, others can lead to devastating, permanent consequences, such as the wrongful death of a loved one. Car accident injury victims can receive compensation for their losses through a portion of your insurance policy known as PIP. For most Miami residents, this process can be daunting and confusing. Miami car accident lawyer Prosper Shaked explains more about PIP insurance in Florida.
What is the Florida PIP Law?
Florida PIP refers to the state’s “personal injury protection” coverage. Florida is a no-fault state. This means, your insurance company must provide coverage for your injuries, medical expenses, and other losses, regardless of who was at fault for your car accident. Florida requires a minimum PIP coverage of $10,000, but you have the option of acquiring additional coverage. To receive compensation from your insurance company, you must receive medical attention within two weeks of the car accident.
According to Florida Statute § 627.736, individuals can receive insurance coverage provided they have received medical assistance within 14 days. Depending on the severity of your injuries and compliance with the PIP 14-day rule, you could receive the maximum compensation available under your policy.
Under this rule, if you suffered non-emergency injuries, you would receive a portion of the coverage. However, if you suffered an emergency medical condition – as defined by Florida Statute § 395.002(8) – you could receive a higher coverage percentage for your expenses. The statute defines an emergency medical condition as an incident that leads to “serious impairment of bodily function,” dysfunction, or poses a severe risk to the patient’s health.
Coverage could include $10,000 in benefits and up to 80% coverage for surgical procedures and other medical services. Keep in mind that medical assistance must be provided by a qualified healthcare provider. This means if you visit a care provider that is not explicitly recognized by the statute, you could lose your insurance coverage. The best way to avoid this pitfall is by visiting your nearest emergency room.
Filing a Lawsuit after a Car Accident in Florida
The first thing you need to do after being involved in a car accident is to seek immediate medical attention. Getting checked by a physician can help you rule out further health issues. Additionally, the statute requires you to get medical attention within 14 days from the moment of the accident, so immediate medical care can put you on the right track to receive your PIP benefits.
Once you have received medical treatment from a qualified healthcare provider, you can file your PIP claim. It could take up to two months for your insurer to validate your claim due to Florida’s high insurance fraud rate. Despite the time it will take for the insurer to verify your claim, they must pay you for damages within 30 days, even if you are under suspicion of fraud.
Some insurance companies might argue you are not entitled to receive full compensation for your injuries. Remember, the insurance company does not work for you. As a business entity, they may try to save money by paying you less. They could try to argue your injuries are not severe enough to grant you full compensation. Furthermore, they could say your injury does not meet the “emergency medical condition” standard provided by the statute. A skilled car accident lawyer can help you through the entire PIP claim process.
Can I Receive PIP Benefits for Pain and Suffering?
Unfortunately, you will not be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering from your PIP benefits. However, if the at-fault party caused you permanent injuries, you could file a personal injury lawsuit against them to claim pain and suffering.
Your ability to file a lawsuit against your wrongdoers depends on the extent of your injuries. Some of the injuries that could grant you the chance of filing a personal injury lawsuit include amputations, permanent scarring, traumatic brain injury (TBI), paralysis, and more. You can also sue for a loved one’s wrongful death.
It is wise you keep all records of your expenses and medical treatment. This information could help you prove your case later on. The more information you possess attesting to the truth of your claim, the better your chances of a successful claim.
Miami Personal Injury Attorney Handling PIP Claims
The consequences of a car crash can be devastating for victims and their families. However, you don’t have to go through the aftermath alone. Miami personal injury lawyer Prosper Shaked can help you hold your wrongdoers accountable for your injuries. If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, the moment to act is now. To learn more about your potential case in a free, confidential consultation, call The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked at (305) 690-0244 today.