Personal Injury Protection in Fort Lauderdale
Florida is a no-fault state. Regardless of who was at fault for an accident, the parties involved must work with their own insurance provider for compensation and coverage. This contrasts with at-fault states where victims seek compensation from the at-fault party’s insurer. Personal injury protection, or PIP, is sometimes called no-fault coverage. It immediately provides accident victims with available medical coverage regardless of who caused an accident.
Personal Injury Protection Coverage in Fort Lauderdale
The state requires you to carry a minimum of $10,000 PIP coverage. This coverage immediately provides available funds to accident victims instead of having the victims wait for the court’s determination of fault for an accident, which could be a lengthy process. PIP was also intended to reduce the administrative costs of accident litigation in the courts. However, it only works for specific damages and losses, and it only provides coverage up to certain limits. PIP claims can also be complex.
If you were involved in an accident, a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney may be able to help you pursue compensation for your losses. Call the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato to learn more about PIP coverage and personal injury litigation. You can reach our team at (954) 633-8270.
PIP Coverage in Fort Lauderdale
PIP coverage varies from state to state, but at least $10,000 in PIP coverage is required in Florida. These funds can help you pay for certain losses and injuries sustained in an accident. PIP is typically used to cover:
- Medical treatment and healthcare expenses, including ambulance services, surgeries, hospitalization, nursing care, medications and supplies, X-rays and diagnostic tests, dental or optical treatment, and rehabilitation services.
- Wrongful death expenses, such as a funeral, burial, or cremation costs.
- The income you lose from not being able to work because of injuries suffered in an accident.
- Incidental costs, such as childcare services if you are unable to care for your children because of accident injuries. Lawn care or home cleaning expenses may also be included.
- Compensation for eligible survivors after an accident fatality.
Personal Injury Protection Limit
These coverage categories are subject to the rules and eligibility criteria of your policy. In many cases, though compensable, individual categories are capped at less than the minimum PIP limit. For example:
- Medical care costs are usually capped at 80% of PIP, so if you have a PIP of $10,000, you may only be able to claim coverage for treatments and care worth $8,000.
- Lost income reimbursement is sometimes capped at 60% of PIP.
- Death benefits are sometimes capped at $5,000.
- If you were not hospitalized or treated for injuries within 14 days of an accident, you may inadvertently forego all of your PIP coverage.
Your policy may outline additional requirements and categories for coverage. A personal injury protection lawyer may be able to help you understand which categories of damages and losses may be compensable based on the specifics of your case.
Call the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato at (954) 633-8270 for a free case evaluation of your PIP coverage today.
PIP Injuries and Assessments
Before you can receive PIP compensation, your insurer can request that you undergo an independent medical assessment. This assessment determines whether or not you have the injuries and require the treatments for which you are seeking compensation. However, since the insurance company will pay your doctor, he or she may have a conflicting interest in your assessment. PIP fraud is a serious legal issue in Florida.
Depending on the outcome of your assessment, you may be able to use PIP coverage for injuries such as:
- Spinal cord damage
- Head, back, and neck injuries
- Cuts, bruises, lacerations, and scars
- Internal organ damage
- Medications, tests, and certain follow-up treatments
Contact the Law Offices Wolf & Pravato for Assistance
PIP is a very useful form of coverage, but it can be easily abused, and accidents involving it can be tricky. Furthermore, the percentage of uninsured drivers out of the entire driving population in Florida is the highest in the country, and your accident may involve uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage issues as well.
If you were involved in an accident, please do not hesitate to contact the personal injury protection lawyer with the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato for assistance. Contact our team today at (954) 633-8270 for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
FAQs Personal Injury Protection in Fort Lauderdale
If you’re a driver in Florida with insurance coverage, you should have personal injury protection (PIP) through your policy. PIP coverage is a required form of auto insurance under Florida state law.
Read on to learn more about what’s covered under PIP insurance and how to receive benefits.
What Does the Personal Injury Protection Cover?
Personal injury protection, or PIP insurance, covers expenses following car accidents, such as medical expenses and lost wages. Twelve states, including Florida, require drivers to carry this type of car insurance.
If you seek medical treatment after a crash, PIP should reimburse you for up to 80% of your medical expenses (including surgical and dental procedures) and up to 60% of your lost wages until you reach the $10,000 threshold.
To get compensation from your insurance, you need to submit all documentation pertaining to the treatment (including bills) to your health insurance company within 35 days. However, if the insurance carrier does not deem your injuries worthy of emergency care, you’ll only be reimbursed for up to $2,500 of the treatment costs.
How Much PIP Should I Have?
In the state of Florida, you’re required to have a PIP insurance policy of at least $10,000, per Florida Statutes § 324.021. This legal requirement reduces the necessity of lawsuits and ensures that coverage is readily available for medical costs after a crash. If your injuries are fairly minor and the treatment costs are under $10,000, you may be able to cover your losses through your PIP policy.
As it turns out, it’s not possible to get higher or lower PIP insurance coverage. However, you can adjust your premiums somewhat by raising your deductible until you hit the maximum value of $1,000. If your medical treatment and lost wages are worth more than $10,000, you’ll need to seek compensation from other sources besides Fort Lauderdale personal injury protection.
Does PIP Cover Pain and Suffering?
No, PIP does not cover pain and suffering in Florida. PIP insurance only guarantees coverage for qualified medical treatment and lost wages.
In some instances, you may be able to receive compensation for pain and suffering by bringing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Pain and suffering is a form of non-economic damages and can therefore be difficult to calculate and/or demonstrate, but our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers can help you build a stronger case.
How Do I Get Full PIP?
To receive the full amount of benefits offered by personal injury protection in a Florida car accident, you need to check several boxes. First of all, it’s essential that you seek prompt medical attention for your own health. Additionally, state law indicates that you must start treatment from a licensed provider within 14 days.
Upon seeking treatment, you will only qualify for the full PIP amount if you meet the definition of an emergency medical condition according to Florida Statute 627.732. In essence, such a condition is one that occurs suddenly and could result in serious, disabling harm to your health if not promptly treated.
Who Automatically Qualifies for PIP?
Drivers or passengers involved in a car accident can seek coverage through the drivers’ PIP policy. Although people generally think of Fort Lauderdale personal injury protection as applying to people in their vehicles at the time of the accident, it can also provide compensation to pedestrians or bicyclists hit by a vehicle.