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How Does PIP Work In Tampa After A Car Accident?
How Does PIP Work In Tampa After A Car Accident?

How Does PIP Work In Tampa After A Car Accident?

In Tampa, Florida, anyone who wants to drive must have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. If you’re involved in a car accident, Personal Injury Protection insurance provides essential medical and lost wage benefits. Every licensed driver in Florida is required to carry at least $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection. Personal Injury Protection insurance also includes death benefits of $5,000 per individual.

Personal Injury Protection insurance is also commonly known as “no-fault” insurance. This doesn’t mean that no one is at fault, it means that insurance payouts are not dependent on fault. Put simply, no matter who causes the accident, Personal Injury Protection insurance will cover costs. Each driver’s insurance company will pay for their medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of fault.

Personal Injury Protection is generally beneficial to all parties after an accident. It can help simplify the process of making claims and help someone receive compensation more quickly. However, it isn’t without its complexities or downfalls.

Who Is Covered Under Tampa No-Fault Insurance?

How exactly Personal Injury Protection insurance covers people is a little unexpected. Even though it’s something you purchased for your vehicle, it can also be applied to situations beyond driving. It can also be extended to your live-in relatives and passengers. Your PIP insurance will reimburse you for injuries you get while driving in your vehicle. It will also cover if you were riding as a passenger in a vehicle. Additionally, if you’re walking or biking, they cover you if you’re hurt by someone else’s car. They also cover your family members who live with you in these same situations.

Here’s a list of who your Florida Personal Injury Protection insurance covers:

The insurance holder

Live-in relatives

A person driving the insured’s vehicle

Passengers in the insured’s vehicle

A pedestrian or bicyclist hit by the insured’s vehicle

Understanding what your PIP insurance will actually cover isn’t easy. Seeking help from a qualified Tampa car accident attorney can make all the difference. A legal professional can help you navigate Florida’s unique insurance laws.

What Is Covered By Tampa PIP Insurance?

In the unfortunate event of an auto accident, Personal Injury Protection coverage can be a crucial financial safety net. It is important to note, however, that Personal Injury Protection only covers a percentage of your costs. Specifically, it covers 80% of your medical treatment bills and 60% of lost wages, up to the $10,000 limit. This means that you will be responsible for the remaining 20% of medical treatment bills. You will be responsible for 40% of lost wages, as well as any expenses that exceed your policy limit. As such, it is crucial to carefully review that your policy has enough coverage to protect yourself in case of an accident.

There are two very important factors in being able to receive your PIP benefits. One is seeking medical treatment within 14 days of the accident. Two is having your injuries classified as an emergency medical condition.

The 14-day rule

Whether or not you feel hurt after an accident, it’s always important to get checked out. Some injuries aren’t apparent at first and can cause major problems later. Seeing a medical professional is an essential part of recovery after an accident, even without the 14-day rule.

The 14-day rule for seeking medical treatment in Florida is set under the state’s Personal Injury Protection insurance law. According to this rule, an individual must seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident to be eligible for PIP benefits. To receive the full $10,000 in benefits after an accident, it is essential to visit a doctor within 14 days.

The emergency medical condition clause

A medical professional must diagnose you with an “emergency medical condition” during this period. Failure to do so will result in a reduced benefit of only $2,500. It’s important to clarify that the term “emergency medical condition” is not a medical term. Rather, it’s a legal term created to increase the difficulty in obtaining full PIP coverage. According to the law statute, an emergency medical condition is one that has acute symptoms that pose a serious threat to the patient’s health.

Your claim needs to show that you had an emergency medical condition but it doesn’t have to be in the original paperwork. To clarify, don’t worry if this term doesn’t appear in your medical records from the first 14 days. Later on, a medical professional can provide documentation that it was an emergency medical condition. Finding the right doctor to do this is something a Tampa car accident attorney can assist with.

Additional coverage

The $10,000 minimum coverage by PIP was set back in the 1970s when these laws went into place. Obviously, medical and mechanical costs have soared since that time. Any Tampa car accident attorney can tell you how much more most accidents actually end up costing. As such, it’s a great idea to look for higher coverage.

The purpose of extended PIP insurance in Florida is to offer exactly this. It provides improved coverage beyond the basic requirements. This enhanced coverage gives additional financial protection and benefits.

Extended PIP insurance in Florida offers certain advantages:

Increased coverage limits: This ensures that individuals have access to higher amounts of compensation for medical expenses and lost wages in the event of an accident.

Expanded medical benefits: These benefits may cover a wider range of treatments, therapies, and rehabilitation services, providing more comprehensive care for injuries sustained in an accident.

Enhanced wage loss benefits: This means policyholders may receive a larger portion of their pre-accident income while they are unable to work due to injuries.

Is There A Benefit To PIP No-Fault Insurance?

While it’s not always popular, Florida’s Personal Injury Protection insurance laws do serve a purpose. Some reasons for implementing no-fault insurance systems include:

Faster compensation: No-fault insurance allows individuals to receive compensation for their injuries more quickly since they don’t have to wait for fault assessment or legal proceedings.

Simplified claims process: Compared to traditional fault-based insurance systems, no-fault insurance typically has a simpler claims process.

Reducing strain on the legal system: By removing the need to establish fault, fewer lawsuits may be filed, leading to more efficient use of court resources and reduced backlog.

Providing coverage regardless of fault: This ensures that injured parties are protected even if the responsible party is uninsured or cannot afford sufficient liability coverage.

While no-fault insurance systems have advantages, they also have some limitations. Specifically, they limit the ability to file lawsuits to seek for more compensation for pain and suffering. A Tampa car accident attorney can help you understand if you are eligible for more than just PIP benefits.

Can I Sue The At-Fault Driver For Damages?

No-fault insurance is designed to limit unnecessary lawsuits. However, Florida has a “serious injury threshold” which allows for a lawsuit to be filed under certain circumstances. A Tampa car accident attorney can go around the no-fault system if you can prove one of the following:

  • Loss of an important bodily function that is permanent and serious
  • A permanent injury that can be proved medically
  • Scars or disfigurements that are severe and permanent
  • Loss of life

To receive compensation for these claims, they must be proven. This is usually achieved through testimony by a doctor. If the claim can’t be medically proven, then you can only expect to receive a maximum of 20% that isn’t paid by PIP.

Get In Touch With A Tampa Car Accident Attorney Today For A Free Consultation

You can count on our team of committed Tampa car accident attorneys for assistance. Insurance companies can be tricky to deal with when it comes to getting your fair payment. When our Tampa car accident attorneys are on your side, you can rest easy. With our years of experience, we’ll be by your side at every step. You deserve fair compensation, and we will fight for it. Your initial consultation is free so don’t delay! Our Tampa car accident attorneys are ready to take on your case.

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