Do The Recent Changes In Personal Injury Protection Law Favor The Consumer?
The recent changes in Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) laws has led to considerable debate over who actually benefits from them, i.e. the consumer or the insurance companies. For the consumer, the failure to follow these laws could result in losing the benefits that you are entitled to should you be injured at a place of business, in an auto accident, on the job, or due to another person’s negligence. Not only are these changes associated with bodily or physical injury, they are associated with emotional or mental injury.
Primary Changes To The PIP Law
Although some of these PIP law changes went into effect nearly two years ago, the majority of them took effect the first of last January (2013). The 4 most important changes that consumers should be concerned with include the following:
- You have 14 days to receive medical attention if you are injured in an auto accident and are seeking Personal Injury Protection benefits. In order to be reimbursed for your medical expenses, they must be ordered, prescribed, provided, or supervised by licensed professionals such as chiropractors, dentists, osteopaths, physicians, or registered nurse practitioners. This also applies to the medical attention you receive at a clinic, hospital, or medical facility as well as any medical care that you receive from a licensed emergency transportation provider.
- Having an emergency medical condition may also be required in order to receive up to the $10,000 PIP benefits limit. According to a summary of these changes, the coverage limits that apply to personal injury protection medical benefits are based on the severity of the individual’s medical condition. If one of the licensed professionals mentioned above has diagnosed an individual with an emergency medical condition, they could receive as much as $10,000 in benefits for care and treatment of their injuries.
- Despite the pain relieving benefits of certain procedures such as Acupuncture or massage, PIP does not cover them. Therefore you can no longer be reimbursed for the expenses related to them no matter who the provider of these services is.
- Insurers may be required to take an EUO or examination under oath of the injured individual in a personal injury case. Your insurance provider can require you to be examined by a medical professional and give an EUO so that you are not denied your PIP benefits. Where receiving these benefits is concerned, you may be required to comply with these conditions.
In addition to the above, your insurance carrier will not be responsible for any benefits if you fail to receive an independent medical examination or IME. These medical examinations are not paid by your personal physician. Instead, the insurance company’s physician provides the examination and pays for it. The purpose of any independent medical exam is to determine whether or not the insured individual is injured, not to treat them for their injuries. Just keep in mind that the insurance company chooses and pays for the physician.
The Need For A Personal Injury Lawyer
As a result of these changes in the Personal Injury Protection laws, the need to hire a skilled personal injury lawyer is now greater than ever. The right attorney is not only knowledgeable of these laws, they are highly experienced at protecting the injured person’s rights under the law. Remember, the insurance company’s lawyer has their interests in mind, not yours. Hence the need to hire the right personal injury attorney to handle your case. That attorney will do everything in their power to ensure that you are compensated for your injuries and the medical treatment that is required. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you.