Personal injury protection (PIP) is an insurance provision that pays for injuries Fort Lauderdale residents suffer in a car accident. The coverage is unique because even if a person is at fault or partially at fault for an accident, they can still obtain compensation for their injuries and losses. The minimum coverage option is $10,000 for qualifying injuries and damages.
Before receiving a vehicle registration in Miami Dade county, all drivers must have insurance coverage with the PIP provision. A Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney can guide you through the process in the event you need to access your PIP benefits.
No-fault insurance in Florida means PIP is important
PIP is critical for motorists in Florida because we live in a no-fault state. The law was passed in 1971, and the premise is that the provision cuts down on residents needing public assistance after a collision. Additionally, it lowers the caseload and does not back up the court system, but the law is ever-changing. A handful of states use the same premise, and motorists purchase insurance for their benefit since fault is not a critical factor in assessing compensation. There are some restrictions, but a car accident lawyer in South Florida can help.
What does PIP pay?
When you suffer an injury from a car accident, you will incur medical bills, lost wages, household service expenses, and more. While they cover a large chunk of your costs, you will need additional compensation if you suffer a catastrophic injury. You will have 80% of your medical bills paid for through PIP and up to 60% of lost wages. If you cannot complete household chores and services and must hire someone, PIP can pay 100% of these costs. PIP offers up to $5,000 in compensation if a person dies in a car accident, and $10,000 in medical and disability benefits for injured persons.
Who is required to have PIP?
All motorists in South Florida must have PIP insurance. Some exceptions exist, and drivers in specific vehicles do not need PIP insurance. Vehicles that do not require PIP insurance are:
- Vehicles with less than four wheels
- Mobile homes
- Inoperable vehicles
- School buses
Some collisions require filing a lawsuit to get adequate compensation, but your attorney can advise you of your options. Children on school buses can recover compensation under their parents’ PIP policy. Still, in all other cases, you will need to file an insurance claim and ask for assistance from a car crash lawyer in South Florida.
PIP Insurance for nonresidents
Florida is known for snowbirds and tourists, and since the Sunshine State is not their primary residence, they are exempt from certain insurance requirements. However, if a vehicle is in the state for over 90 days in one year, you must purchase PIP insurance. Failure to obtain insurance results in a license suspension in Florida and notification of the suspension in your home state.
What doesn’t PIP cover?
PIP has a cap, which means it does not fully cover severe injuries or any injury that becomes a chronic condition. When you suffer a serious injury, you must look for other sources of compensation which means filing a claim. Examples of severe injuries that lead to outside claims include:
When you experience these injuries as a result of another driver’s negligence, you are eligible to recover damages for your medical expenses, future lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Working with a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer means you can fight back and get the compensation you require for your long-term care and losses. The insurance company is willing to fight for lower compensation instead of giving you what you need to recover from this tragic experience.
How to file a PIP claim in Fort Lauderdale
There are steps you must file for your PIP claim, and failure to meet all requirements can result in a denial. The first step in a PIP claim is to get medical treatment for your injuries within 14 days. You must also inform your insurance company there was an accident so they can begin the claim process. Florida allows insurance companies 60 days to investigate claims and 30 days to issue payment.
Remember payment will first go to your medical providers, and you can receive leftover funds if you qualify. After your accident, keep all your receipts and medical documents. You must have your employer fill out a wage verification form so you can recover lost wages.
Motorists can work directly with the insurance company, but there are more benefits when you work with a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer. The insurance company may not want to pay your claim, and every form you submit will be scrutinized, looking for the slightest error or issue. They may also ask you to sign documents that allow them to access your medical records for years before the accident so they can blame another situation for your injuries. This is why it is important to have an experienced attorney to advocate for you.
The 14-day rule
A major caveat for PIP claims is, as mentioned earlier, anyone seeking compensation must obtain medical care within 14 days of the collision. If you do not seek medical care, you can be exempted from filing a claim. The rule is to ensure the injuries were a result of the accident and did not worsen because you failed to receive medical care promptly. After an accident, get medical care at the scene or within a few days. You should also work with a South Florida car accident lawyer to protect your rights.
Drivers and passengers can receive PIP compensation after an accident where they suffer an injury. Your PIP benefits also cover your children in an accident in your or another vehicle, like a school bus. However, if your losses exceed your benefits, you will need to take further legal action. Discuss your legal options with a car accident lawyer today. Yeboah Law Group has office locations in Fort Lauderdale, Key West, Boca Raton, and Miami, serving all of Miami-Dade and South Florida. Call our offices or submit our contact form to schedule a free initial consultation today.