What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP)? Florida is a no-fault state. This means that if you get injured in a Fort Lauderdale accident, you will have to seek damages from your insurer for your injuries. This is regardless of who was at fault in the crash. Even if the fault of another driver caused the crash, you will still be required to file a claim for damages with your own insurance company.
This is precisely why Florida laws make it mandatory for all drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, also known as No-Fault insurance.
What Losses Are Covered by PIP?
PIP covers the following losses in the event of a crash in Fort Lauderdale or anywhere else in Florida.
Personal Injury Protection coverage pays for most of the medical costs you are likely to incur as a result of an accident-related injury. When you purchase PIP coverage, you can choose whether the policy covers only you or other residents of your household as well.
The coverage applies whether a crash was your fault or that of another entity. The medical costs covered under PIP include:
- The costs of diagnosis, treatment, hospital stay, medication and any surgeries that are required as a part of the treatment process.
- The costs of any rehab programs you must partake on the path to a reasonable degree of recovery.
- Costs of ambulatory services and any diagnostic procedures involved.
- Costs of conventional and accepted medical procedures that are deemed necessary for the treatment of your injuries.
It is important to note that Personal Injury Protection coverage has certain limitations when it comes to covering medical costs of an accident injury. The first of these is that PIP covers only 80% of the medical costs. This means that if your total medical costs are $5,000, Personal Injury Protection will provide for only $4,000. Even when the medical costs are higher, PIP will pay no more than $10,000 of them. This applies only when your injury is considered an emergency. If it is not an emergency, you will receive only $2,500 in medical benefits.
If your crash-related injury forces you to take time away from work and results in lost wages, Personal Injury Protection coverage compensates a portion of these losses. In all, PIP covers 60% of the lost wages with the maximum cap set at $10,000.
Death benefits to the amount of $5,000 are also available under PIP coverage if an accident victim dies due to crash-related injuries. This amount is available to the next-of-kin in lieu of funeral and burial expenses.
PIP Requirements in Florida
Florida auto insurance laws lay out a number of requirements for PIP coverage. Here is a look at these.
- You must carry $10,000 of PIP coverage. This coverage is required for every vehicle that qualifies for auto insurance requirements.
- All vehicles registered in the state are required to carry PIP. Any out-of-state vehicles that have driven within Florida for 90 out of last 365 days must also carry PIP.
- Personal Injury Protection covers you, passengers traveling in your vehicle, family members at your home, and anyone else who may drive your car with your permission.
Filing a PIP Claim for Fort Lauderdale Accidents
When you suffer a crash in Fort Lauderdale and want to file a PIP claim, you must receive medical treatment and file a claim within 14 days of the car accident. If you file a claim any later than this, your claim will be denied. Once you file a claim, the insurer is required to investigate and make a decision within 60 days. However, the insurer must still pay you damages within 30 days if it hasn’t reached a definite decision in this period.
If you are also filing for lost wages, you must provide details of the wage and salary of 13 weeks prior to the crash. These details must be verified by your employer and submitted to the insurer in time.
Going Outside Personal Injury Protection Coverage
Personal Injury Protection coverage applies to most Florida crashes because it is a no-fault state. However, Florida laws allow you to go beyond the PIP coverage in certain circumstances. So you can essentially sue the at-fault driver when
- Your medical costs exceed $10,000
- Crash-related injuries result in temporary or permanent disability, disfigurement, or death
In the above-noted cases, you will have recourse to recoup the additional losses from the driver whose fault caused the accident.
Find an Experienced Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a Fort Lauderdale car crash, it is important to understand how you can get fair and full compensation for your medical costs and other losses. Here at Englander Peebles, we help you file for PIP coverage in time, and also sue an at-fault driver when PIP coverage is not enough. Our ultimate aim is to help you get the maximum amount of damages that you deserve. Reach out to us to schedule a free consultation and discuss your claim with our lawyers.