The Florida legislature in 2012 changed the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) law due to take effect on January 1, 2013, under the guise of preventing insurance fraud. Florida requires each driver to carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage, which allows a Florida motorist to receive medical benefits if involved in an accident, regardless of fault.
Under the new law, individuals injured in car accidents will have only 14 days to seek initial treatment as opposed to the previous policy that placed no time limit on treatments. If treatment is sought after two weeks, nothing will be reimbursed by the insurance company. Further, policyholders may be eligible for only $2,500 in coverage, as opposed to the previous limit of $10,000. Only those with an “emergency medical condition” are eligible for the higher limit, while those with less severe injuries will receive only up to $2,500. Only a medical doctor, osteopathic physician, dentist, physician assistant, or advanced registered nurse practitioner may diagnose an “emergency medical condition.” A chiropractor cannot diagnose an “emergency medical condition.”
Even more worrisome to Florida citizens is that the law does not require insurance companies to notify policyholders that changes are forthcoming, effectively pulling coverage away from them without their knowledge or understanding. Recently, the constitutionality of this new law was challenged and a portion was successfully held unconstitutional. The 14-day limit, however, is still in effect and sets an extremely small window for injured motorists to seek medical treatment.
Therefore, do not hesitate to seek help immediately or be prepared to be shut out of PIP compensation. Due to this change, it is absolutely critical for those injured in auto accidents to contact Martin J Hernandez immediately following an accident to ensure that their rights are protected.