Now that 2013 is here, the changes to Florida’s Personal Injury Protection insurance (PIP) that we have blogged about throughout 2012 are officially in full effect. As we have previously blogged, this is not necessarily a good thing for Florida drivers. While the ultimate goal of the law is to reduce fraud and lower car insurance rates for drivers, the law is mostly advantageous to the insurance companies.
For example, if you are injured in a car accident on or after January 1, 2013, you must seek medical treatment within 14 days or you will lose any PIP benefits you may have been entitled to. Further, while PIP used to cover up $10,000 in medical expenses and lost wages, your PIP benefits will be limited to $2,500 unless you are diagnosed with an emergency medical condition. Only if you are diagnosed with an emergency medical condition will be you entitled to $10,000 worth of coverage.
Also, massage therapy and acupuncture are no longer reimbursable medical expenses under the new statute. These are just some of the ways that the new PIP statute reduces coverage for Floridians. There is also a new requirement to give an examination under oath in order to receive PIP benefits, which will allow an insurance company to take your statement regarding the facts of the accident and your injuries before they pay any benefits. If you do not give the examination under oath, they can deny your claim and if you do give an examination under oath, the insurance company will be asking questions designed to give them a reason to deny your claim.
The bottom line is that not only does the new law reduce insurance benefits, it also makes it more difficult to receive those benefits and limits your treatment options. If you are injured in an accident in 2013, call Givens Givens Sparks to ensure that your rights against the car insurance companies are protected, to assist in guiding you through this new system of changes, and to make sure you are fully compensated for your injuries.