With the Christmas holiday approaching, a steady trend of increased traffic on Tampa roads continues to grow. This trend over the holiday leads to an increased number of automobile accidents and a greater rate of drivers sustaining injuries on crowded Florida roads. In Florida, all drivers are required to carry auto insurance to cover the cost of damages that arise after an auto accident.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a mandatory coverage on Florida car insurance policies that covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. The original purpose of PIP coverage was to make sure that anyone injured in an auto accident would quickly receive money to treat their injuries. In Florida, all drivers are obligated to obtain a minimum of $10,000 PIP coverage for medical bills and lost wages following an auto accident.
In 2012, the Florida legislature passed into law PIP reform which takes effect on January 1, 2013. The new law now requires that injured persons seek medical treatment within fourteen (14) days of an accident or the injured party will be barred from using PIP coverage for valid accident related medical treatment. Additionally, the new PIP law bans the use of PIP dollars to pay for massage or acupuncture treatments and will limit the payout for non-emergency treatment of accident-related injuries to $2,500.00.
A widespread concern is that accident victims with serious injuries won’t be able to get the care they need if they sustain an injury such as a whiplash or herniated disc because these injuries may not qualify as an emergency. Nonetheless, supporters of the bill insist that the reform will contribute to overall lower insurance premiums and provide much needed relief to Florida drivers.
Remember, it is always important to be aware of the changing laws regarding insurance coverage in order to effectively protect yourself in the event you sustain an accident related injury.
In an effort to reach out to our partners and clients, we have recently coordinated with Tampa General Hospital (TGH) to offer their over 6,500 employees discounted access to our legal services. We are proud to work in conjunction with TGH’s PerksCard Network, and look forward to providing quality legal service to all our clients.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of an auto accident and have questions concerning your rights, call Blick Law Firm today at 813-931-0840 to schedule a free 15 minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick!