The state enacted the personal injury protection law in 1971 to make certain that anyone hurt in a car accident would get money as soon as possible to treat their injuries and cover other costs. Every driver’s insurance company is now required to pay up to $10,000, regardless of who is at fault.
Critics claim the law is now used to play the system,providing money for unneeded medical treatment so the maximum $10,000 can be billed for care.
There is an entire cottage industry around the PIP insurance law as it now stands with acupuncturists, chiropractors and therapists of all sorts getting involved in the game. Not to mention lawyers and their fees.
The new bill just approved by the legislature states that a car accident victim must receive treatment within 14 days in an ambulance or hospital, or from a physician, osteopathic physician, chiropractic physician or dentist. No referrals from acupuncturists or massage therapists allowed. Follow-up care requires referral from a physician, osteopath, chiropractor or dentist.
The injured person can get the $10,000 medical benefit only if a physician, osteopathic physician, dentist, supervised physician’s assistant or advanced registered nurse practitioner finds that they have an emergency medical condition. If not, the PIP medical benefit is limited to $2,500.
If an injury is discovered after the 14-day window, many drivers will still be covered by health insurance, Medicaid or Medicare.
Although approved by the Florida legislature the PIP reform bill still needs the signature of the governor before it becomes law. In the meantime defensive drivers can rest easy knowing the odds are still in their favor when it comes to avoiding a crash. And if they do have a crash in Florida at least they know they won’t get reamed by fraudsters.