If you drive a car and have car insurance in Florida, then you most likely have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits available to you.
Also known as "No Fault Insurance," your PIP benefits can help cover the costs of your medical bills and lost wages after an accident.
PIP/No Fault insurance coverage pays 80% of your medical expenses and may pay 60% of your wage loss up to $10,000.
This type of insurance is called "No Fault" because the benefits will cover these expenses regardless of who was at fault for the accident. If you have car insurance and have been in a car accident, you have a right to these benefits and do not need to repay them.
However, there are 4 major mistakes car accidents victims commonly make that can jeopardize their access to these benefits.
1) Seeing the Wrong Type of Doctor
In order to qualify for the full $10,000 in PIP benefits, you must see a doctor who has the ability to diagnose you with an emergency medical condition. Otherwise, your PIP benefits may be limited to a maximum of $2,500.
Most emergency room doctors are qualified. As well as most specialists, orthopedics, and other facilities that have a medical doctor on staff.
2) Waiting Two Weeks to Go to a Doctor
If you were transported to a hospital after an accident, you won’t need to worry about this one. However, for those accident victims who are lucky enough to walk away from an accident and but begin to feel soreness and pain after the adrenaline wears down, be aware that if you do not seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident, the insurance company may not be required to pay you anything at all.
The good news is, as long as you seek treatment within 14 day of the accident, you will surely be entitled to your PIP benefits.
3) Failing to Strategize the Best Use of Your Personal Injury Protection Benefits
Think of your PIP benefits like a credit card. Once you reach your max, that’s it. Therefore, you must choose wisely when it comes to spending your $10,000.
A problem I often notice is when an injured person is put out of work and uses all of their PIP benefits to pay for medical care, realizing later that they need money to pay for lost wages.
If you wish to reserve a portion of your PIP benefits for lost wages, you will need to collect a doctor’s note stating you cannot work with proof of the work hours you will be missing.
There are several ways to strategize your PIP in order to maximize the best use of your $10,000 in benefits, and ensure that some of your PIP is reserved for lost wages. However, this area of the law is extremely complicated and requires a clever analysis of all resources that are available to you.
4) Failing to Attend an Independent Medical Examination (IME)
If you miss an appointment for an independent medical examination (IME), your PIP benefits will stop.
An IME is an independent opinion of your clinical status, and may be conducted at the request of an insurance carrier.
You must attend your IME appointment. You can reschedule one if needed, but failure to attend will completely stop your PIP benefits.
Looking for more information about your PIP benefits and other resources that could help pay your medical treatment and lost wages after a Florida car accident? Request a free download of Wade Coye's eBook How to Get Medical Treatment After a Florida Car Accident Without Spending Thousands of Dollars You May Never Get Back by clicking here. If you'd like to speak to member of the Coye Law team about your questions, click here to submit a contact form or call us at (407) 648-4940.