What Is Personal Injury Protection Or PIP Benefits In Florida?
To legally drive in Florida, $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is required. PIP coverage is also referred to as no-fault coverage. A lot of people have heard that Florida is considered a no-fault state, but this is kind of a misleading term in that it makes people believe that if an accident occurs in Florida, no one is at fault. What it actually means is that no-fault PIP coverage kicks in regardless of who is at fault. PIP coverage pays for 80 percent of an injured party’s medical costs up to $10,000, subject to a deductible, which varies from policy to policy. It will also pay 60 percent of lost wages up to $10,000, and $5,000 in death benefits. These coverages will be based on a first-in-time type of claim. For example, if the doctors submit a $10,000 medical bill to the injured party’s PIP policy before the injured party submits a claim for lost wages, then the injured party will not be able to recover for lost wages under their PIP policy because the $10,000 limit will have already been met. This is why it is important to file a claim for lost wages as soon as possible.
The $10,000 mark is usually the maximum that it will pay out. For claims involving very minor injuries, the injured party could be entitled to only $2,500 worth of benefits. If a doctor considers the condition to be an emergency condition, then the benefit limit will increase from the $2,500 to $10,000. Based on my experience, any significant injury will be considered an emergency medical condition and will qualify for the maximum amount of PIP benefits. It is pretty rare after an auto accident for coverage to remain at $2,500.
Why Do I Need An Attorney If The Other Party Is Clearly At Fault? Can I Just Work With The Other Party’s Insurance Company and Handle It On My Own?
The insurance companies aim to take in premiums and not pay out claims. The more premiums they generate and the fewer payouts they make, the more money they are going to make. The insurance company is not going to have the claimant’s best interests in mind, even though they are supposed to. They have a financial incentive to not handle everything the way they are supposed to. Having an attorney involved keeps them to their duties. If no one forces them to do something, then they are not going to do it, whether it is getting the claimant’s car repaired, paying the claimant’s medical bills, or compensating them for pain and suffering.
If a claimant does not know what they are entitled to and what their legal rights are after an accident, then they are going to be at a significant disadvantage. Insurance adjusters have been trained to know more than the average person about their rights after an auto accident, and they know how to manipulate those rights. They also know how to negotiate better than the average citizen.
Attorneys have what is referred to as an iron fist, which is the best thing about the legal profession and the justice system; if a person or company does not do something that they are supposed to do, attorneys have the power to bring a lawsuit and hold that person or company to the fire to make sure they do the right thing. Ultimately, it is the attorney’s goal to ensure that their client receives the compensation they deserve, and that they are not taken advantage of or manipulated into releasing their rights for less than full value.
Oftentimes, an insurance company will try to offer someone a small amount of money, which for that person at that time could seem like a huge amount of money. They will say, “Here is $1,000 if you just sign this piece of paper.” For a lot of people, $1,000 is a lot of money, so it can be enticing to just take it. However, with an attorney involved, that $1,000 could be $50,000 or more depending on the claim. Insurance companies take advantage of people who they know are in very dire straits financially, which is why it is so important for people to at least consult with a personal injury attorney who operates in this field. The consultation should be free; if they are going to charge for it, find another attorney who will not.
The more knowledge a person has, the better off they will be. A person would not try to perform surgery on themselves, so why would they try to handle their own personal injury claim? The consequences of performing surgery on oneself are severe, and so too are the consequences of handling a personal injury case without an attorney. Attorneys go to school for many years, they have experience in the law, and they are going to be on the claimant’s side. In contrast, the insurance companies will always prioritize monetary interests, because they are for-profit companies; they are not just there to administer claims, but to make money. If a claimant has an experienced attorney with an iron fist, the insurance company will know that they will be held to the fire. This helps keep insurance companies accountable, and that accountability will have a direct impact on the final results of a case.
For more information on Personal Injury Protection Benefits In FL, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (727) 490-8712 today.
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