Mark Roman | June 12, 2023 | Car Accidents
Florida is one of several states that require drivers to purchase no-fault insurance. These states are often called “no-fault states” for car accident claims. Understanding Personal Injury Protection insurance coverage is essential to protect your rights after a car accident in Clearwater, FL.
FAQs About Florida PIP (Personal Injury Protection)
Frequently asked questions about PIP insurance claims include:
What Is PIP Insurance?
PIP is the abbreviation for Personal Injury Protection. It is a type of no-fault automobile insurance required by Florida law.
All drivers must have at least the minimum required insurance coverage, which is:
- $10,000 in PIP coverage
- $10,000 in PDL (property damage liability) coverage
PIP insurance pays medical bills after a car accident regardless of who caused the collision. The insurance pays for covered individuals, including the driver, passenger, and sometimes the vehicle owner’s family members. It can also pay medical bills for bicyclists and pedestrians hit by a driver.
What Medical Bills Does PIP Insurance Cover in Florida?
PIP insurance will cover up to 80% of your medical bills from a covered car accident. However, there are some limitations to coverage as outlined by Florida no-fault insurance laws.
Things you need to know about medical expenses and Florida PIP insurance include:
- You must receive medical treatment within 14 days of the accident to qualify for PIP medical benefits.
- Your medical benefits are limited to $2,500 unless you sustain an emergency medical condition.
- PIP insurance does not compensate you for pain and suffering damages (non-economic damages).
- You must receive treatment from a medical provider.
Medical providers generally include physicians (M.D.), dentists, hospitals, Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.), Doctors of Chiropractic (D.O.), and emergency medical providers. Acupuncturists and massage therapists are not included in the list of medical providers, nor is massage therapy a covered expense for PIP claims. However, some insurance policies include payment for these services, so you must check your policy.
What Is an Emergency Medical Condition for Florida PIP Claims?
An emergency medical condition (EMC) is defined by Florida Statute §395.002.
It includes serious medical conditions that cause:
- Jeopardy to patient health, including a fetus or pregnant woman
- Dysfunction of any body part or organ
- Impairment to bodily functions
A medical provider must include the tests and procedures performed to diagnose a serious condition in the medical records. They must also describe the medical condition, including the official diagnosis.
Does PIP Insurance Pay Lost Wages After a Clearwater Car Accident?
PIP covers up to 60% of your income lost as a result of car accident injuries. However, the lost wages and medical bills are added together. Therefore, if your medical bills exceed your $10,000 limit, you will not receive reimbursement for lost wages.
Can I Recover Other Economic Damages From PIP?
PIP does not reimburse you for all economic damages caused by a car crash. However, as discussed above, you can receive a portion of your medical bills and lost wages. In some cases, individuals can receive a small daily amount to pay for the cost of household services if their injuries prevent them from performing chores.
However, all of the expenses you recover are added together. Therefore, when you reach the policy limit, the remaining bills and expenses are your responsibility.
What Death Benefits Does PIP Pay for a Wrongful Death?
If a car accident causes the death of a covered individual, family members can receive up to $5,000 in death benefits, including funeral expenses. However, PIP does not compensate family members for loss of consortium and other non-economic damages.
Can I Waive PIP Insurance Coverage in Florida?
Some states make PIP coverage optional. Florida is not one of those states. PIP insurance coverage is required for all Florida vehicles.
Should I Purchase Liability Insurance Coverage in Florida?
Liability insurance compensates accident victims when you cause a car accident. Florida does not require drivers to purchase liability insurance coverage. However, drivers may purchase coverage to protect themselves from liability if they cause a car crash.
Does Florida PIP Insurance Cover Motorcycles?
Florida PIP insurance laws apply to motor vehicles with four wheels. Therefore, it does not apply to motorcycles. Instead, motorcyclists should purchase other types of insurance coverage to protect them if they are involved in a motorcycle accident.
Can I Sue an At-Fault Driver for Causing a Clearwater Car Accident?
Typically, drivers cannot sue other drivers for car accidents in Florida. They are limited to filing for benefits under their PIP coverage. However, there are exceptions to the rule.
Florida law permits accident victims to pursue personal injury claims if they sustain serious injuries in a car accident. Serious injuries are defined by statute and include permanent impairments and significant disfigurement. A Clearwater car accident attorney can review your case to determine if your injuries meet the serious injury threshold.
Serious injuries generally result in damages that exceed PIP coverage. Therefore, filing a claim against the at-fault driver is important to recover compensation for damages.
In addition to receiving reimbursement for all lost wages and medical expenses, you could receive compensation for:
- Physical pain
- Diminished earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Permanent impairments and disabilities
- Mental anguish
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- A decrease in quality of life
- Long-term personal and nursing care
What Is the Deadline to File Car Accident Claims in Florida?
Your deadline to file a PIP insurance claim depends on the terms of your insurance policy. However, you must seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident date to receive PIP benefits.
The deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit is different. The Florida statute of limitations for most car accident lawsuits is two years from the accident date for crashes that occur on or after March 24, 2023. Accidents before March 24, 2023 continue to have a four-year deadline to file lawsuits.
Exceptions to the statute of limitations could change the filing deadlines for claims. Therefore, talk with a Clearwater personal injury lawyer today to protect your right to file a claim.
Contact the Clearwater Car Accident Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a car accident lawyer in Clearwater. We have five convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655