What is Personal Injury Protection Insurance in Florida?
We often hear in Florida that insurance is legally required. But what insurance is required, and what does that insurance do for us?
What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP)?
In Florida, all drivers are required to have what is called personal injury protection, or PIP. This is often also called no fault insurance, because you get these insurance benefits in a car accident, no matter who is at fault. That means that you don’t have to sue anyone, or prove anything, in order to get the insurance benefits. This coverage is usually capped at $10,000 in benefits.
If you are in any kind of car accident, PIP will pay up to 80% of your medical expenses from almost any kind of medical specialist or provider. You can choose your own doctor, and go as often as you like. PIP does not interfere with your treatment; as long as the treatment is necessary, PIP will pay for it. Your medical providers will be responsible for billing your car insurance company and submitting the appropriate insurance forms.
PIP will also pay 60% of your lost wages. However, as you can see, because this is a smaller percentage than the 80% of medical expenses that are paid it is often best to save PIP to pay for medical expenses.
PIP will pay these amounts up to a combined $10,000. If you know anything about what medical expenses cost, you can already tell this is not a huge amount.
However, when you purchase car insurance, many times you will have the option to add add on what is known as Medpay or Medical Payments Coverage, which will add to this amount of needed. Most Medical Payment policies are limited to an additional $5,000.
The remaining amounts of what you owe—the amounts over the 80%, or amounts that are included in your PIP deductible—can be obtained by making a claim on the other drivers’ insurance. Medical Payments coverage can also be used to pay these balances.
Timing and Who is Covered
As a general rule, you must get medical treatment for injuries you sustain in the accident within two weeks of the accident. But you don’t have to be rushed to the emergency room, or get treatment at the scene of the accident, in order to get PIP.
Your PIP insurance provider will provide these benefits to your medical providers even if you weren’t driving the car (such as if you were a passenger), and even if you were in someone else’s car. However, it generally doesn’t cover motorcyclists, so if you ride a motorcycle, you need to take special caution when purchasing insurance to make sure that you have coverage.
By law, you have to use your PIP to pay medical bills after a car accident (if you get treatment). This insurance is considered “primary” and must be billed by your medical providers, and be fully exhausted before your regular health insurance will provide coverage.
What Isn’t Paid For
PIP also doesn’t pay for future lost wages, or future medical treatment, nor does it pay for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, or loss of the enjoyment or quality of life. Again, these are damages that you will have to include when you make your claim against the other driver.
Call Rosen Injury Law for help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys.