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What Is Personal Injury Protection in Florida?

man holding paper asking are you covered in reference to personal injury protection
Personal injury protection (PIP) or no-fault insurance is required in Florida but what exactly does it cover in the event of an accident?

If you own a vehicle, you need auto insurance. The confusing part is knowing which type of insurance to purchase. From liability coverage to uninsured motorist (UM), and personal injury protection (PIP), each type of insurance plays a unique role in protecting you during life’s most tragic events. 

 

Florida is one of twelve states to have PIP coverage and Florida’s PIP Statute requires all drivers to carry PIP insurance. We’ll explore the basics of PIP coverage and how it can be used to your benefit when you experience a car or truck accident in Florida.

 

If you have questions about how PIP applies to your Florida accident case, keep reading or speak with a knowledgeable Daytona Beach personal injury attorney with over 30 years handling personal injury cases across Florida.

What is personal injury protection?

Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of no-fault insurance. No-fault insurance is often misunderstood. Many drivers believe that because Florida is a “no-fault” state, they can’t be responsible for someone else’s injuries in an accident.  

 

This is not true. 

 

PIP was created to help accident victims quickly get money to pay for medical expenses instead of spending time proving the other person caused the crash. PIP can also be applied to situations when you’re a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, or if you’re a pedestrian who has been hit by a car. 

 

PIP insurance will help pay medical bills for you and your passengers after an accident, regardless of who caused the crash. But if your injuries are serious enough, you can step outside of PIP and also file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. 

 

You can sue the other driver if you have injuries that resulted in life changes or permanent disabilities such as:

  • Significant disfigurement;
  • Bone fractures;
  • Permanent limitation of use of a bodily organ;
  • Significant limitation of a bodily function or system; and
  • Substantial full disability for 90 days.

What does PIP cover and how much PIP coverage do I need?

Every state has different auto insurance policy requirements. In Florida, each driver is required to have at least $10,000 in PIP coverage. According to Forbes Magazine, the average PIP claim in Florida is $7,156.13

 

If you are involved in a car wreck, PIP will cover 80% of your medical bills. For example, if you have $10,000 worth of medical expenses, PIP insurance will cover $8,000. 

 

Keep in mind, this 80% coverage only applies when your doctor determines that you have an emergency medical condition. Under Florida law, a medical condition is an emergency when:

 

  • The victim’s health is in jeopardy;
  • The injury impairs a bodily function; and
  • The injury causes the severe dysfunction of any body part or organ. 

 

If your injury is not an emergency, PIP will only provide up to $2,500 in medical expenses. Also, PIP does not cover massage therapy and acupuncture. 

 

If you decide to use your PIP insurance, don’t wait. Beware of Florida’s 14 day PIP rule. Florida law requires accident victims to see a medical professional within 14 days. If you get medical treatment on day 15, you won’t receive PIP benefits.  

 

And the income you miss because you can’t work? PIP will cover 60% of lost wages if you are unable to work due to your accident injuries. 

 

Finally, Florida PIP will cover up to $5,000 in death benefits like funeral or burial expenses if someone is killed in an accident, no matter who is at fault. 

Possible repeal of Florida’s no-fault law in the works

PIP requirements have undergone significant reforms. Florida legislatures’ last reform for PIP happened in 2012 and it’s up for reform again right now. 

 

If passed, Senate Bill 54, filed in the senate on January 15, 2021, would repeal Florida’s no-fault law. The new law would instead require drivers to carry bodily injury liability coverage. The bill’s purpose is to save drivers money. 

 

Supporters of the bill believe replacing the no-fault system with a bodily injury liability system would better hold responsible the person who caused the accident. Others believe the bill would increase auto insurance premiums of more than 5%. The bill sends mixed signals across the state.  

Exhausted your personal injury protection coverage? Call our Daytona Beach injury attorney to explore your options

Balancing your injuries with trying to figure out how much you will receive from PIP can be difficult. Things get worse when your PIP doesn’t cover all the costs of your injuries and damages. In either case, an experienced injury attorney near you can help you navigate the car insurance system and explore other options for full compensation.

 

Contact Rick Kolodinsky, P.A. Daytona Beach injury lawyer online or give us a call to schedule a free consultation. Your rights to top-dollar compensation starts with you.

Mr. Kolodinsky has been honored by his induction into this prestigious nationwide organization of trial lawyers. Of some 900 lawyers in Volusia Country there are four lawyers so honored.

- American Board of Trial Advocates
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Rick Kolodinsky, P.A.

Phone: 386-200-1866

Email: info@rickkolodinskypa.com