The PIP (Personal Injury Protection) car insurance is mandatory in the Florida state for all auto drivers. The PIP coverage pays off for the injuries you have sustained in auto accidents regardless of whose fault it was that caused the accident. However, similar to some other states there are special laws and other regulations enforced in Florida.

What is covered?

Similar to the states of Michigan and New Jersey, the PIP coverage in Florida covers lost wages, medical costs, and death benefits. Almost all medical costs are covered by PIP in Florida with the odd exceptions of practices such as acupuncture. You can select the cover for PIP for either yourself or other members of the household in Florida. Things such as medication, surgical services, hospital expenses, rehab costs, and other medical services are covered under insurance. 80% of the medical costs are included in the PIP coverage.

When you are disabled and are injured in an auto accident the PIP in Florida will be paying for 60% of the lost wages. This includes the services you will usually perform but are incapable of any more due to the accident. The services include daily chores such as cleaning the house, doing laundry, and taking care of pets. When the insurance policyholder is killed in the auto accident, the PIP will take care of funeral and burial expenses apart from the benefits listed above.

Filing a PIP claim in Florida

The state of Florida has strict laws while filing for PIP coverage. One of the rules is that the treatment for the injuries incurred during the auto accident must be done within two weeks of the incident for the PIP reimbursement. The claim is no longer acceptable after two weeks. Because of the several cases of insurance fraud in Florida the insurer will get 60 days to investigate the claim. However, he must pay for the damages within 30 days even if there is room for doubt. If there is a court case you need to maintain a record of all your medical expenses after the auto accident.

For the lost wages claim you are required to submit a “Wage and Salary” verification which is to be filled by your employer. This document states your wages 13 weeks before the incident. A personal injury lawyer can help you to make sure that the employer fills out the form promptly. Sometimes you may be required to get a description from your doctor detailing the disability you received as a result of the auto accident.

Right to sue

The no-fault states such as Florida have laws to lessen the number of people suing each other for damages. Some states such as Florida only allow the drivers to sue if the injuries sustained are considered to be permanently disfiguring or have resulted in death. Florida also allows the drivers to sue even when the injuries are not severe as long as the medical costs are more than $10,000. When you are involved in an accident where the hospital bill exceeds $20,000 you can sue the other driver for $10,000 that is not included in the PIP coverage. You can also sue the person for the emotional pain and suffering caused by the accident.

Sometimes your auto accident case may not be straightforward or the insurance company might be giving you hassles. In this case, it is a good idea to get a personal injury lawyer for making sure that you get paid. During the proceedings, you must keep a log of all your medical expenses after the auto accident. For those looking for an attorney in the Tampa, FL area, contact Rojas Law Group for a consultation.

Picture Credit: 123rf

When you’re in a car accident do you know what steps you should take? If you answered “no” to this question, you should know that you’re not alone. The steps you should take are important and easy to remember, which is why we’ll review them here for you.

Stay Put

When you’re in a car accident in Florida, law dictates that you must stop and exchange information with the other driver. Of course, you want to make sure that you don’t obstruct traffic any more than necessary. If anyone has been injured, you must render “reasonable assistance” to them. Failure to take these steps may result in you being charged with a felony if someone is injured or dies. Even if there’s only property damage, you may still be charged with a misdemeanor.

While at the scene of the accident, make sure everyone is fine and if anyone does need medical assistance, call 911 immediately. If someone is killed or there’s injuries or property damage of $500 or more you must immediately notify the police and highway patrol. Regardless, you’re responsible for exchanging information all relevant information (e.g. name, phone number, address, driver’s license number, vehicle registration number, insurance company and policy number). You should also get this information for any witnesses. It’s also in your best interest to take photographs and notes too.

Although you may be tempted to apologize, don’t. You don’t want to discuss liability right now. Doing so may result in you unintentionally or unnecessarily admitting guilt.

Contact Your Insurance

As soon as possible, call your insurance company and report the accident. In Florida you’re responsible for maintaining at least $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage Liability (PDL). Since Florida is a “no fault” state, PIP will cover you regardless of who’s at fault. Your PDL will cover any damage that you’ve done to another person’s property.

Make sure you’re honest with your insurance company. This doesn’t mean you have to accept their settlement offer though. If this means that you’re struggling to have your claim resolved, then make sure you participate in the mediation that’s offered by the Florida Department of Financial Services. This is also who you should talk to if you have questions or want to file a complaint about your insurance.

Talk to an Attorney

Unfortunately, there are times when you may need to take legal action after a car accident. Oftentimes this will depend on the extent of the injuries and the amount of damage that occurred. For this you must remember that the Statute of Limitations (the timeframe you have for being able to file a negligence or personal injury claim) is four years from the date upon which the accident occurred. Typically, such claims are based on the idea that the other driver was negligent. This means that they were careless and thus caused or contributed to the accident.

You can also seek monetary compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering in this manner. There are different divisions of the court that may hear your claim depending on how much financial compensation you’re seeking. For instance, the county civil court will hear any case seeking up to $15,000 while the county civil court hears cases of up to $15,000 and the circuit court is responsible for any case seeking financial compensation above that level.

Don’t try to figure everything out by yourself. When you’re in a car accident in Tampa, give Attorney Juana Maria Rojas right away. She can help you sort through your claim and get the settlement you deserve. Get started today by contacting her now.

Picture Credit: Pixel-mixer