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Florida Remains A Complex PIP State


Many throughout Florida’s Suncoast were hoping that 2021 might be the year that personal injury protection or PIP might get repealed as a legal requirement for drivers in the state. Unfortunately, this did not come to pass as Florida’s governor vetoed the proposed amendment, and PIP remains mandatory.

But if you’re new to Florida or driving, you might not be aware of what PIP is or how it can complicate an injury situation. Here’s what you need to know about PIP in Florida.

The Theory

Personal Injury Protection was implemented in 1972 as a way for Florida drivers to theoretically get easy access to funds for covering the costs of medical care. As it stands today, every resident in Florida who drives must have PIP coverage. If you’re new to the state, you must get it within 90 days of arriving, or, if you visit the state, you must have it if your stay in Florida racks up more than 90 days of driving time on Florida roads.

Personal Injury Protection in Florida requires a fixed amount of $10000 in possible coverage. This is part of Florida’s status as a “no-fault” state, which means that when people are injured, their own PIP is expected to pay for medical costs, not the driver’s insurance policy that may be responsible for the injury.

The Coverage

Of course, $10000, while significant, is not on the high end of injury coverage. The $10000 PIP coverage is intended to go toward:

• 80% of total medical costs
• Rehab costs
• Diagnostic costs
• Lost salary if unable to work
• Death
• Injury of passengers in the car

PIP is designed to handle smaller claims and thus eliminate the need for lawsuits to go to court to claim costs for medical coverage. If the insurance is automatically handed out upon injury, there should be fewer lawsuits in theory.

The Problems

PIP, however, does not cover all potential outcomes of injury in a motor vehicle. There are a few scenarios where PIP is insufficient to the needs of an injured driver, such as:

Exorbitant Costs

If the injuries are serious and require extensive surgery, rehabilitation, and subsequent medical treatment, then the total cost for medical coverage can easily exceed $10000, which may be offset if drivers have additional coverage, such as MedPay, or additional injury or health insurance coverage they may secure on their own, or have offered as a benefit of employment with a company.

Disability

In some cases, an injury is so severe that it’s permanent and results in a lifelong disability. Deafness, blindness, or the amputation of limbs are all examples where, in the aftermath of an accident, a person’s life can’t return to normal, because a disability makes resuming all activities—and even former career—impossible.

In these cases, if you’re injured in a car accident in Florida, you may need to consider getting additional legal help for a lawsuit to secure the compensation you need to recover. Talk to an experienced auto accident attorney to find out how you can recover the costs that justifiably belong to you.

Stephen M. Fernandez developed a strong belief in justice and fairness in public policy while earning his Political Science degree prior to attending law school. Since joining the Florida Bar Association in 2004, Stephen Fernandez has combined his background in public policy, business administration and civil law to serve as a highly effective trial lawyer fighting for Florida's injured, working hard every day to make sure his clients get what they are owed.

Florida Remains A Complex PIP State

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh




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