The Impact of PIP Reform

Changes to PIP reform will take full effect by January 1, 2013. The Amendment to Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) revises the provisions of medical benefits under the No Fault Law by requiring a covered individual to obtain treatment within 14 days in an ambulance or hospital, or from a physician, osteopathic physician, chiropractor physician, or dentist.

Further, the full, and previous, $10,000 of PI medical benefit is only available if a physician, osteopathic physician, dentist, or supervised physician’s assistant or advanced registered nurse practioner determines that the insurance has an “emergency medical condition”. Emergency medical conditions are defined as: a.) Serious jeopardy to patient health; b.) Serious impairment to bodily function; or c.) Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or port.

Unless the emergency medical condition definitions are met then the accident victim will be limited to only $2,500 in PIP coverage. Other than the PIP coverage, a victim may seek other coverages, including but not limited to Med Pay, Workers Comp, health coverage, and emergency medical treatment coverage. If these coverages are not available, the victim must rely on the defendant having bodily injury (BI) coverage and/or the victim having uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.

Because PIP reform has a significant impact on a victim's benefits, it is highly recommend that any individual involved in a motor vehicle accident contact a Tampa personal injury attorney immediately after the accident to ensure their interests are protected.