As a personal injury attorney, many people come to me following an automobile accident and they are frightened. Whether they accidentally hit another motorist or someone hit them, they all have the same concern: How am I going to afford to pay medical bills?
Most people earn enough to pay their monthly bills and expenses, but most have very little extra at the end of the month. An unexpected emergency room bill or the need to pay a doctor for medical testing following an automobile accident are usually more than enough to tip the budgetary scales over the edge. Often times I see people in severe pain, refusing to go to the doctor because they think they can’t afford it.
Luckily the Florida Legislature has designed an insurance system to protect consumers that incur medical bills following an automobile accident. All automobiles lawfully insured in the state of Florida are required to carry Personal Injury Protection insurance that is designed to substantially cover medical bills incurred in an automobile accident. Personal Injury Protection Insurance (PIP) is required insurance coverage in Florida. PIP insurance pays 80% of any medical bill and 60% of any lost wages incurred as a result of an automobile accident. PIP covers the owner of a vehicle, any resident relatives in the car who do not have their own insurance (such as kids), and even passengers in the car who don’t have insurance from another source. These benefits pay regardless of whether the accident was your fault or the fault of the other vehicle involved. It is very much like a health insurance policy that follows you wherever you go and protects you if you are injured in by an automobile.
What does this mean to you? If you own a vehicle that is properly insured, or you live with parents or a spouse that has a vehicle properly insured and you are injured by an automobile, you will have 80% coverage of any accident related medical bills up to the policy limit which is usually $10,000. This includes if you are a pedestrian struck by a car, or you’re on a bike struck by a car. It covers you child if they are struck by a car or in another persons car that is in an accident. Even if you accidentally exit your car while it is in neutral and it runs over your foot, you have coverage.
Be aware that delaying treatment can limit PIP coverage. In order to obtain PIP benefits, individuals injured in an auto accident must seek medical treatment within 14 days. PIP benefits can be denied or severely limited if medical treatment is sought after the 14-day window has expired. PIP benefits can also be limited if the injured person is not diagnosed with an Emergency Medical Condition within that 14-day period following the accident.
Understanding insurance coverages following an accident will alleviate your fears and give you the confidence to get the treatment you need to stay healthy. If you have questions about your automobile coverage, please contact us a Morgan & Barbary at 321-951-3400 and speak to a Personal Injury attorney about your questions, or visit us at Legalproblem.com. We are here to help.
Clay Morgan, Esquire and Personal Injury Attorney