Navigating the auto insurance process in Florida can be complicated and confusing for many people. After a car accident, the last thing you need to worry about is dealing with an insurance claim—especially if you are recovering from serious crash-related injuries. The skilled auto accident attorneys at the Florida Law Group fully understand how auto insurance works following an accident can assist with every step of your insurance claim. Call today for more information.
No-Fault Insurance in Florida
In many states, when someone is responsible for your accident, you would file a claim with that driver’s insurance. However, auto insurance in Florida is quite different as it is not fault-based. Instead, the law requires all drivers to carry no-fault insurance called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. This no-fault insurance is supposed to cover the costs of auto accident injured whether or not the injured party was at fault for the accident while limiting the amount of car accident-related lawsuits filed in civil court.
Because this is your own insurance policy, you may think it is simple to obtain the payout you need to cover your medical costs and other ancillary expenses. However, too many people learn the hard way that PIP claims can be just as challenging and frustrating as other types of insurance claims. Just because you pay premiums does not mean the insurer will not try to limit their liability. For these reasons, it is always wise to speak with an experienced PIP insurance attorney who can guide you through the claim process and help to maximize your payout.
You should be covered by PIP insurance if you have your own policy for your vehicle. If you do not, you may be able to file a PIP claim with the policy of a family member with whom you live or, if you were a passenger at the time of the accident, with the driver’s policy. Our attorneys can determine under which policy you should file your claim.
No-fault insurance will not cover all of the same losses as a personal injury lawsuit might cover. The coverage is limited to the following:
80 percent of your medical expenses, including hospital or doctor bills, prescriptions, rehabilitative services, and other out-of-pocket costs
- 60 percent of any income you lost due to your injuries
- Compensation for mileage traveled to and from your medical appointments
Keep in mind, however, that PIP insurance policies have limits and in many cases, may not cover all of your losses from a car accident.
PIP Insurance Limits
The standard PIP insurance policy has a $10,000 limit, as this is the minimum amount of coverage required by Florida law. This means that you can only be compensated for a certain amount of your losses. In many cases, the maximum payout limit may be significantly lower. For example:
- For “emergency medical conditions,” the limit is $10,000
- For any injuries not considered to be “emergency medical conditions,” the limit is $2,500
The law defines what is considered to be an emergency medical condition (EMC) for PIP insurance purposes. An EMC is an injury with severe enough symptoms or pain that a failure to obtain immediate medical attention may result in any of the following:
- The accident victim’s health would be in serious jeopardy
- The accident victim would suffer a serious impairment regarding bodily functioning
- An organ or body part of the accident victim would seriously dysfunction
“EMC” is not a medical term but was instead created by legislators who are likely not familiar with emergency medical standards. However, this distinction is a very important one for many auto accident victims who file PIP claims.
Injuries that are not considered to be emergency medical conditions can still be quite serious and can require medical treatment. With the costs of healthcare, treating any injury can cost well beyond $2,500, as you may require a long course of physical therapy, ongoing doctor appointments, medications, and more. You can exceed your PIP policy quickly in such situations. It is important to have an attorney on your side who knows when to argue that your injuries constituted an EMC and that you deserve up to $10,000 in compensation to cover your losses.
Complications with PIP Claims
As mentioned, some accident victims may face a hurdle if their insurance company claims they did not suffer an EMC and are not, therefore, entitled to the full benefits of their $10,000 policy. There are other complications that may arise in a PIP claim, including:
- Your insurance company challenges the necessity of the treatment you received
- Your insurance company claims you did not need to miss work due to your injuries
- Your insurance company challenges the ancillary losses you claimed in regard to your injury
- Your insurance company alleges that your injuries were not the result of your auto accident
Any of the above can result in serious delays and a partial or complete denial of your claim. It is critical that you know all of the information to present to your insurer to support your claims and that you present it in the right manner. An attorney with extensive experience handling PIP claims will be able to handle all communications with your insurance adjuster, provide all the necessary evidence in support of your claim, and work to negotiate the insurance settlement you deserve. Our law firm can also identify when you have important legal rights to take action above and beyond your PIP coverage.
Consult with a Tampa PIP Insurance Claim Attorney for Free Today
PIP insurance claims are more complex than many injured car accident victims might expect. The good news is that the legal team at The Florida Law Group is ready to assist accident victims with the PIP insurance process. We thoroughly understand your rights under Florida law and will seek the maximum amount of compensation our clients deserve in each and every case. If you suffered an injury in a crash, please contact us online or call 813-463-8880 for a free case evaluation today.