You may have heard a radio jingle hinting that if you have been involved in an automobile collision, you may be eligible for up to $10,000 in PIP benefits. Does that mean you get $10,000 in your pocket if you are involved in an accident? As you probably know, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t. In this case, the old adage is right – money doesn’t grow on trees. So what is PIP?
PIP is mandatory automobile coverage in Florida. It stands for personal injury protection benefits. It is designed to help pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and funeral expenses related to an automobile accident.
The typical scenario would be where you are driving home from work, and you are rear-ended by the person behind you (who was probably texting). You’re full of adrenaline and emotion at the scene, and you feel fine. The next day, you start to feel sore. You take some ibuprofen and hope for the best, but it gets worse. Rather than put it off, you try to make an appointment to go see a doctor that week. Chances are, your primary care doctor won’t see you because he doesn’t take “accident cases.” You reach out to friends to find out what medical provider can help you. When you finally see a doctor, he prescribes diagnostic testing and physical therapy.
But who pays for all those medical services? PIP! The insurance company is required by law to pay for 80% of all reasonable and necessary medical services related to the accident, up to a limit of $10,000. Of course, there is some fine print that can’t be covered here. For instance, you must receive medical care within 14 days of the accident, and you may be responsible for paying a portion of that $10,000, but that’s the gist of it. If you would like to really dig into the Florida Statute, you can read all 9000 plus words of it here.
You may have also heard of no-fault insurance. This is the same as PIP. All it means is that you are entitled to these benefits even if you were at fault in the motor vehicle accident. Or put another way, it doesn’t matter who was at fault, anyone involved in a car accident should always be eligible for PIP benefits. That means you are eligible for PIP benefits even if you were the at fault driver texting in the example above.
An automobile accident is the typical scenario. But what most people don’t know is that it covers a lot more than just that. It covers injury, sickness, disease or death arising from the ownership, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle. You don’t have to be even be driving a car. You could be maintaining it. Maintenance of a car could be anything from changing a tire to replacing the engine. If someone is injured doing maintenance, they are entitled to PIP coverage. You could be using your car’s windows and accidentally injure your finger or hand. That should be covered as well. You get the idea.
At Snedaker Law, we have the experience to deal with PIP and any other motor vehicle accident issues. We assist patients and medical providers recover benefits when an insurance company fails to properly pay a claim, and can assist you if you are involved in a personal injury incident.