The new PIP statute and its consequences for accident victims:
The new PIP personal injury protection statute recently passed in Florida could be a triumph for insurance companies. The law places new limits on the amount of benefits an individual can receive, as well as the amount awarded during a claim. This can lead to significant personal expenses for individuals involved in pedestrian, bicycle, car and motorcycle accidents. The course of litigation may also be affected by the new PIP provisions.
The large number of personal injury lawsuits filed in the past may be the cause of the new law changes. Whether individuals were involved in truck, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, car accidents and motorcycle accidents, the old insurance statutes did not provide for certain aspects of coverage. Limits on attorneys’ fees and restrictions on medical treatment were not clearly defined in recent PIP laws. As a result, many insurance companies have increased their rates in response to the increase in PIP claims.
This new law could significantly impact emergency care due to strict classifications of injury protection and medical treatment. Persons requiring medical attention must receive treatment from an acceptable healthcare professional within two weeks. This can have detrimental consequences for anyone who takes a longer time to start medical care. Victims of drunk driving and those involved in pedestrian and bicycle accidents may need immediate care, but car accident victims may need more time to begin treatment.
New guidelines in the PIP statute also limit coverage for different types of alternative treatments. Victims of car and motorcycle accidents or someone suffering from a spinal cord injury will only get a $2,500 cap on all treatments if a victim does not receive treatment within 14 days of the car wreck under the new law. Acupuncture, massage therapy and other holistic treatments are completely excluded from PIP coverage. Motorcycle accident victims and those involved in truck and bicycle accidents may have to pay exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses.
The changes to PIP coverage can provide insurance companies with significant monetary benefits. Although the new law includes a plan for the gradual reduction of rates, the savings for consumers are minimal compared to total premium payments. When it comes to more serious damage, such as a spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury, the 25% rate reduction may not do much for the victim’s pocketbook. Because the amount of medical benefits has decreased, an injured party may have to use their primary health insurance to cover treatment.
Individuals involved in accidents have rights that must be protected due to the nature of the new PIP law. A qualified attorney puts the victim first. A reduction in policyholder funds should not affect the type of therapy, treatment or legal protection an individual receives. If there are any questions about this new law and victims’ rights, you should immediately contact a legal attorney.