What is Florida Personal Injury Protection?
Chances are most drivers know of Personal Injury Protection, or “PIP” insurance. However, many don’t know just how important it is. Do we, as drivers, see any benefit from it? Is it a specific requirement in Florida? What does Personal Injury Protection cover in the event of a driver becoming injured in a car accident?
These are all questions clients ask frequently. Unfortunately, younger, or paper pusher lawyers, handling car accident cases fail to recognize the importance of Personal Injury Protection. Within this Shaked Law Resource article we’ll provide our audience with accurate information regarding Personal Injury Protection. Furthermore, we’ll answer the question of why drivers put themselves at-risk by choosing not to hold this policy.
No fault coverage
First of all, “PIP” is a “no-fault” coverage. This is due to its use for paying claims regardless of who is at-fault. However, we shouldn’t overlook that it’s not as simple as calling the insurance company and providing proof of accident. Far from it. Certain stipulations must be met to in order for “PIP” to cover any accident in question.
Next, we’ll provide the top three (3) things that make Personal Injury Protection, or, “PIP”, important for drivers to have.
1. How does Florida Personal Injury Protection “PIP” coverage work?
For the most part, this answer is simple! PIP coverage allows anyone paying for this policy to file their own claim with their insurance carrier. That is, instead of with the other party’s insurance company. After that, the accident victim’s own insurance company will pay their beneficiary’s damages up to what’s allowable in their state.
Here we have “policy limits”. What are policy limits? When bodily injury expenses are in excess of a certain amount per the insurance company, the party with injuries can proceed to file a lawsuit directly against the other driver. The other driver would be the person at-fault for the accident in question.
2. What does “PIP” cover? What is the driver responsible for?
When a driver adds Personal Injury Protection to their existing insurance policy or to a new policy they’re signing up for, they add it with the knowledge that it covers medical bills and lost wages. What drivers sometimes aren’t aware of, is that in certain circumstances PIP may cover transportation needs for medical appointments. This is necessary if the accident victim is unable to drive or does not have a car due to the accident. It even goes as far as covering property damage such as lawn repair if the other party is responsible for destruction of personal property.
In theory, PIP covers every reasonable medical and lost wages expense directly caused by the action. The catch (which isn’t so much a catch)? There’s a specified time frame to file a claim directly with your insurance carrier in order to be compensated for any injuries and lost wages sustained.
Florida law requires the driver, even when not “at-fault” use their own car insurance (with “PIP”) to cover the first $10,000. Health insurance, and the other driver’s insurance, won’t pay, until the first $10,000 is met.
3. Does the state of Florida require PIP? Where else is Personal Injury Protection insurance mandatory?
Yes! Florida law requires drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection along with their car insurance policy regardless of whether they want it or not. This is in the best interest of the driver and everyone else on the road, and an excellent way to protect drivers in the event that an accident does occur. The safest drivers are the ones who know that protecting themselves is just another way to stay safe. PIP insurance is a requirement in 12 other states as well: The District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Utah.
What do drivers forget about PIP?
Finally, PIP insurance doesn’t necessarily mean the insured’s premiums won’t rise after an accident. Premiums are based on a wide array of different factors and the specifics of the accident. It’s important to consult with a lawyer who has years of experience. Board Certified lawyers are there to assist in successfully recovering the maximum amount of compensation as quickly as possible.
In closing, let’s look at examples of what drivers may not know about, that can be affecting their premium:
- Is PIP mandatory in the state the driver lives or an accident occurs?
- What’s the primary insured’s driving record?
- The age and gender of the driver. New drivers often have higher premiums even without ever getting into an automobile accident.