Understanding Florida’s PIP Laws
Because Florida is a no-fault state, Florida motorists are required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. Florida law requires an injured person to seek medical attention within 14 days of the accident, and only those individuals deemed to be suffering from an immediate/emergency medical condition will be entitled to the full $10,000 in coverage.
Others will be relegated to only $2,500 in PIP coverage. Note that massage therapy and acupuncture are not covered under Florida’s PIP law after a motor vehicle wreck.
It is imperative that Florida drivers be informed of the law and govern themselves accordingly to ensure that they receive full benefits. For greater detail, please call Gerber Law in the Venice and Sarasota area at 866-233-4529 (4LAW) with any comments or questions.
Frequently Asked Questions About Florida’s PIP Law
Who determines whether I have an emergency medical condition?
Only qualified medical doctors, osteopathic physicians, dentists, physician assistants and advanced registered nurse practitioners will be able to determine if the injury is an emergency medical condition requiring further medical services. It is important to note that chiropractors may not make this determination.
Can I still seek care from a chiropractor for injuries suffered in an accident.
Yes, although only up to $2,500 will be reimbursed for nonemergency care. There is concern from consumer advocates and trial attorneys alike that $2,500 is not enough to cover care for physical problems such as neck and/or back pain, which may not qualify as an emergency condition.
What is an emergency condition under the law?
According to the law, an emergency medical condition is one that puts a patient’s health in severe jeopardy, impairing their bodily functions or causing any organ or body part to be dysfunctional. Emergency conditions can also include broken bones and internal bleeding.
However, herniated or protruding disks may be subject to debate. The state Office of Insurance Regulation is collaborating with insurers and the medical community to help define some of these issues.
Are massage therapy and acupuncture services for which I may receive reimbursement?
No. The State Chief Financial Officer’s office issued a report identifying massage therapy for treatment of soft-tissue injuries (sprains, whiplash, etc.) as one of the factors that drive up PIP rates. Therefore, lawmakers have specifically excluded these services from coverage.
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