Florida PIP (Personal Injury Protection) FAQ
Bill Allen | September 30, 2022 | Car Accidents
Florida is one of about a dozen states that applies a no-fault auto insurance system for car accidents. Unless your injuries are serious, you cannot sue an at-fault driver for an accident in Florida.
Regardless of fault, you must seek compensation from your Florida Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance policy. Florida’s no-fault insurance system is full of nuances and complexities.
What Losses Does PIP Pay?
PIP will pay for:
- 80 percent of your medical care;
- 60 percent of your lost earnings;
- Ambulance services;
- Hospital expenses;
- Rehabilitation; and
- Funeral expenses.
Remember that Florida also requires drivers to purchase property damage liability (PDL) insurance. If the accident was someone else’s fault and your car was damaged or totaled, you can file a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s PDL insurance.
PIP Coverage Limits and Emergency Medical Conditions
PIP will pay up to $10,000 for an Emergency Medical Condition (EMC) from an accident. An EMC is an injury that jeopardizes or seriously harms the patient’s health, bodily functions, or body organs. If the accident didn’t cause an EMC, the PIP coverage is limited to $2,500.
What Is the 14-Day Rule?
The 14-day rule states that you cannot receive PIP benefits if you did not receive medical treatment within 14 days of the accident. The reason for this rule is to prevent people who are not seriously injured from receiving unnecessary PIP benefits. If your injury is not serious enough to require medical treatment within two weeks, the thinking goes, you must not have suffered a serious injury.
Who Does Florida PIP Insurance Cover?
PIP insurance covers the following people in the event of an accident:
- The owner of the car;
- Members of the owner’s family residing in the same household;
- Someone else driving your car (with your permission); and
- Pedestrians or bicycle riders struck by your vehicle.
If you own a car, you can use your PIP insurance even if you suffer injury in a traffic accident as a pedestrian or a bicyclist. Since you are claiming against your own PIP insurance policy, you can file a claim even for a hit-and-run accident.
If the PIP Claimant Does Not Own a Car
If you don’t own a car and are injured in a car accident as a pedestrian or bicyclist, you can use your relative’s PIP insurance under certain circumstances. Otherwise, you can try your health insurance policy or the at-fault driver’s liability insurance policy if they have one.
Whose Treatment Can Qualify Me for Benefits?
You can qualify for benefits from treatment by many different types of medical practitioners, including medical doctors, doctors of osteopathic medicine, hospitals, and EMS services.
When PIP Coverage Isn’t Enough to Cover Your Losses
Not all personal injury claims can be satisfied with only $10,000. If yours can’t be, you might be able to exit the no-fault system and file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver, their insurance company, or even a third party under certain circumstances. Under Florida law, these circumstances are:
- You suffer a significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Your injuries cause severe scarring or disfigurement;
- Your injuries caused permanent disability; or
- You are an eligible relative of a victim who died in a car accident.
Once you exit the Florida no-fault system, you must prove that the other party was at fault to win your claim. You can also claim non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Unfortunately, since Florida does not require most drivers to carry bodily injury liability insurance, you might discover that the at-fault driver cannot pay your claim.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Lawyer
There are at least two ways a lawyer can help you with an auto accident claim in Florida. One way is to help you obtain a fair PIP settlement. Another way is to determine whether your injuries are “serious.” If so, you may seek compensation from the at-fault party, their liability insurance carrier, or another party. Contact a lawyer if you believe you might have a claim.
Contact Our Ocala Car Accident Law Firm in North Central Florida
If you need legal assistance, contact the Ocala car accident lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida: