The New PIP Statute and its Effects on Accident Victims:
The new Personal Injury Protection PIP Statute that was recently passed in Florida may be a triumph for insurance companies. The law places new limits on the amount of benefits a person can receive as well as the amount of money awarded during a claim. This may result in substantial personal expenses for individuals involved in pedestrian and bicycle accidents, car accidents and motorcycle accidents. The course of litigation may be affected as well because of the new PIP provisions.
The large number of personal injury lawsuits filed in the past may be to blame for the new legislative changes. Whether individuals were involved in truck, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, car accidents and motorcycle accidents, the old insurance Statutes did not provide boundaries on certain aspects of coverage. Limits on lawyer fees and restrictions on medical treatment were not clearly defined in recent PIP laws. As a result, many insurance companies raised their rates in response to the increase in PIP claims.
This new law may significantly affect urgent care due to the strict classifications of injury protection and medical treatment. Individuals who need medical care must seek treatment from an acceptable health-care provider within a two week period. This can adversely affect anyone who needs a longer time frame to initiate medical care. Drunk driving victims and those involved in pedestrian and bicycle accidents may need immediate care, but victims of car accidents may take longer to begin treatment.
New guidelines in the PIP Statute restrict coverage for various types of alternative treatments as well. Car accidents and motorcycle accidents victims or anyone suffering from a spinal cord injury will only receive a $2500 cap for all treatment if a victim does not treat within 14 days of the car wreck under the new law. Acupuncture, massage therapy and other holistic treatments are completely omitted from PIP coverage. Victims of motorcycle accidents and those involved in truck and bicycle accidents may need to pay exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses.
The changes in PIP coverage may provide insurance companies with substantial monetary gains. Although the new law details a plan for the gradual reduction of rates, the savings is minimal for consumers when compared to the total premium payments. When it comes to more severe damages such as a spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury, the 25% rate reduction may do little for the victim’s wallet. Because the amount of medical benefits has decreased, an injured party may need to use his or her primary health insurance to cover treatment.
Individuals who are involved in accidents have rights that need to be protected due to the nature of the new PIP law. A qualified attorney will put the victim first. A decrease in funds for policy holders should not affect the type of therapy, treatment or legal protection an individual receives. If there are any questions about this new law and for victim rights you should contact a legal lawyer immediately.