How Does PIP Insurance Work in Car Accidents?
Florida is one of the few states using the “no-fault” rules for motor vehicle accidents.
No-fault means that each party’s insurance, regardless of fault, pays for medical expenses up to the maximum policy limit. To do this, drivers must carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) on their automobile policy. A driver cannot register their vehicle or renew a driver’s license without proof of insurance and PIP coverage.
How Does PIP Work?
PIP is add-on coverage for your existing automobile insurance policy – and by no means the only type of coverage you need. PIP covers all medical costs after a motor vehicle accident. This insurance stops you from having to file a claim for medical coverage from the other party and protects you from delayed payments for treatments you need.
PIP also places restrictions on when drivers may file a personal injury claim – but does not prohibit them outright. When accidents are catastrophic and quickly exceed PIP limits, or death occurs, you still can file your lawsuit.
The benefit of PIP is that even if you were at fault for the accident, you have coverage. PIP also covers your passengers and children in the vehicle at the time of the crash.
Florida’s PIP Requirements
Currently, the state requires $10,000 of PIP coverage, and your auto insurance company must offer that minimum policy. You can purchase more, but not less.
But keep in mind that $10,000 in a single accident might go quickly, especially if you or your passengers have catastrophic injuries.
Medical Payments Covered by PIP
Most of your medical costs go through PIP. However, acupuncture and questionable medical procedures might receive a denial. The following are treatments your PIP insurance covers:
- Medical Treatments
PIP only covers up to the policy maximum. Therefore, once you exhaust your $10,000, PIP no longer pays for treatments.
Florida PIP Laws Allow for Personal Injury Lawsuits Too
Even with no-fault laws and PIP insurance, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party even though PIP helps to pay for your medical care. You can sue even if your injuries are not severe. Once your treatments exceed the $10,000 mark, you can sue for the remaining costs resulting from your injuries and for the amount that PIP does not pay as it only pays 80% of your medical bills up to a maximum payment of $10,000. For instance, if your accident costs you $25,000, but PIP pays $10,000 – you can sue for the $15,000 difference and for the amount that PIP does not pay, along with pain and suffering and other damage components.
The average hospital stay, or ambulance ride to a hospital, often exceeds PIP coverage by thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars – especially if emergency surgery is necessary.
How Attorneys Help with PIP Cases
Understanding your options and how a claim works with automobile insurance, including PIP coverage, is difficult. Therefore, it is best to consult with an injury attorney and explore your options.
The team at the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld P.A. can help. We understand how confusing the process is after an accident, and we are here to make the process as simple as possible. Furthermore, we want you to receive the maximum compensation possible for your case.