What Is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance?
If you have a registered motor vehicle in Florida, you probably also carry Personal Injury Protection, or PIP as part of your insurance policy. Every vehicle owner in Florida with a registered car in Florida is required to carry PIP. This coverage is laid out in Florida Statute § 627.737(2) and is designed to cover people who are hurt in a crash–no matter who was at fault!
This ‘no fault’ insurance works by having injured victims look to their own insurance companies for compensation right after an accident. Otherwise, having to establish fault with another person’s auto insurance company can add a delay while medical bills and missed time from work pile up.
If you are injured from a crash, you probably just want to know when your life will get back to normal. Our legal team takes on the challenges of injury claims so our clients can focus on rebuilding their lives.
What Losses Are Covered Under PIP?
By taking fault out of the equation, Florida’s PIP insurance system allows for faster payouts after an accident to cover medical bills, lost wages, and death benefits. PIP also offers protection while you are driving, riding as a passenger, biking, or even walking.
If you have been injured in an accident, there are some important guidelines to know about what accident-related losses PIP does and does not cover. Without an understanding of PIP coverage, you could find yourself in a bad situation.
How Much of My Medical Bills Are Paid By PIP?
Most medical expenses are covered by PIP, with some exceptions for treatments that use more alternative methods, such as acupuncture. Generally, if you qualify for PIP within the first 14-days, PIP will cover 80% of medical care for injuries from a crash up to $10,000. This typically includes:
- Medical services and medications
- Surgeries and hospital services
- Diagnostic services (X-rays, MRIs)
- Ambulance services
As an example, say you were injured in an accident while driving in your home state of Florida, and your medical treatment costs $10,000. With PIP insurance, you would be covered for $8,000 of that expense (80% x 10,000=8,000) and not more than that–since coverage is capped at $10,000. If your health insurance covers accident injuries, you may be able to secure coverage for the remaining amount through that policy.
Keep in mind that if your injury is not considered an emergency, you may only be covered for $2,500 under PIP. Every case is different, so if you have questions about your PIP benefits, contact an experienced injury attorney.
How Much of My Lost Wages Are Paid by PIP?
Without a doubt, losing your wages after being injured in a crash can feel like a ticking time bomb. For those who cannot work because of accident-related injuries, PIP offers 60% coverage for missed pay up to $10,000.
If you’re not sure whether PIP will cover your accident injuries, a personal injury attorney should be able to explain your benefits and discuss your case with you.
In Florida, PIP covers 60% of wages that are lost due to your crash injuries, but this coverage is limited to no more than $10,000 of lost pay. For example, $4,000 worth of missed pay from accident-related injuries would be covered under PIP for $2,400 (60% x 4,000=2,400).
PIP can also pay 100% of ‘replacement services’ for lifestyle activities that an injured victim cannot physically do. This includes daily tasks such as house chores, driving, child care, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of pets.
How Much Does PIP Cover For Funeral Expenses?
If the worst happens, PIP benefits can help the deceased’s family pay for funeral and burial expenses that follow. Typically, the next of kin is entitled to $5,000 to cover these costs.
What Is Not Covered By PIP?
There are some important factors to know when it comes to the limits of PIP coverage. For instance, say your accident-related injuries are serious enough to cost over $10,000 in medical bills and/or lost wages. Or your injuries have resulted in permanent physical damage, such as serious scarring or disfigurement.
Generally, Florida treats these kinds of ‘catastrophic cases’ as though the state had an at-fault system. This means an accident victim in those types of situations may sue an at-fault driver for their losses.
What is Florida’s 14 Day Rule?
‘Florida’s 14-day rule’ after an auto accident is a requirement that you seek medical attention within 14 days after a car accident in Florida. If you don’t go to a doctor or otherwise get medical care within two weeks of the accident, you cannot file a PIP insurance claim even though you paid for these services and you are injured.
How Does ‘Florida’s 14-Day Rule‘ Affect My PIP Coverage?
When it comes to securing your PIP coverage, the 14-Day Rule is absolutely critical to remember. Injured accident victims can lose their right to PIP benefits if they are not careful to follow this rule.
The 14-Day Rule essentially says that if you have been in a crash, you must receive medical attention for your accident-related injuries within 14 days of the accident. Failing to get seen by a doctor in that time period will likely result in not getting any PIP coverage.
What Do I Do After A Florida Car Accident?
If you’ve been hurt in an accident, the pain of your injuries maybe just a part of your suffering. The mounting medical bills lost wages, and other costs after an accident could overwhelm anybody.
Thankfully, Florida’s PIP insurance system can help you cover these costs without having to prove fault first. But, knowing how PIP coverage works and whether you are entitled to compensation could save you a lot of trouble later.
With any accident injury claim, hiring an injury attorney can make a huge difference in your outcome. If you do choose to hire a lawyer, they should have the experience to discuss your situation and what it means for your PIP coverage.
If your coverage is falling short of what your insurance policy says, or you have questions as an accident victim, we can help. Call us at 813.755.9500 or contact us anytime online to get started with your free consultation today.