5 things you need to know about the new PIP law
Tampa injury Lawyer ? Mark Perenich
Happy New Year Everyone!
There are some new laws that were ushered in this year, and it is important that you and your families know about them so you can act appropriately when that time comes. The law I want to address is the new Personal Injury Protection or PIP statute. The original PIP Act was enacted by the Florida legislature in 1971 and took effect on January 1, 1972. The purpose of the Act was to provide benefits to a person injured in an automobile accident/ car accident in an expeditious manner without regard to who was at fault in the accident. That’s why you may hear the term “no-fault” used from time to time. Or you may have heard this called the “No-fault statute”.
Here is what you need to know about the new Personal Injury Protection PIP statute:
1) Do not wait to see a doctor if you are having any pain or injury at all. You have 14 days to do so.
- If you are in car accident/auto accident you have 14 days to see a MD, DO, PA, DMD, or ANRP. You CANNOT be diagnosed by a Chiropractic physician. However, if you choose to see a Chiropractor they will probably refer you to a Doctor. The other option is to call a lawyer right away, they will be able to tell you what you need to do to preserve your rights.
2) Insurance coverage will be limited unless you have an “Emergency Medical Condition”.
- If the MD, DO, PA, DMD, or ANRP does not find an emergency medical condition your insurance will only provide you with $2,500 of PIP coverage. The only way your insurer will cover bills totaling more than $2,500 (up to $10,000) is if your doctor diagnoses you with an “Emergency Medical Condition” which is defined in the statute as:
“[A] medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, which may include severe pain, such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in any of the following: (a) Serious jeopardy to patient health. (b) Serious impairment to bodily functions. (c) Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.”
- See Ch. 2012-197, §9, Laws of Fla. (§627.732(16), Fla. Stat., effective 1/1/13).
Confused yet? Concerned as to why you are paying to $10,000 worth of coverage if it is hard to get? So are we.
Note that you can see a Chiropractic physician after your injury has been diagnosed.
3) Your follow up treatment is limited to your initial diagnosis.
- Say you are in an auto accident and you go see a doctor, the doctor diagnoses your shoulder and neck pain. Then the next morning you get out of bed, and your lower back and legs are in terrible pain. Your insurance will only cover treatment for your next and shoulder pain.
4) No more massage, acupuncture, or acupressure.
- Many of our clients are able to get pain relief from massage, acupuncture, and acupressure. When your back muscles are in spasm massage, acupuncture, and acupressure can provide instant relief, and in some cases are more effective than pharmaceutical drugs. The new PIP law does not cover these treatments, nor does it cover other treatments that are mechanical in nature, such as hydrotherapy, thermal therapy, or any electrical or mechanical device. The sad part of this is that some of our clients only get relief from these treatments
5) Deductibles can still be as high as $1,000.
- So if you do not have an “Emergency Medical Condition” you may pay $1,000 before you get access to your $2,500 of PIP coverage.
There are other changes in the new PIP statute, however if you are in an auto accident your attorney will be able to help you understand and navigate the new pitfalls of the PIP law. These are the important provisions you need to know about.
If you have any questions about any of this please contact me Mark Perenich.
Thanks for Reading