The Basics Of Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Many years ago, the Florida legislature realized that when people are in car accidents, they need access to medical attention quickly, and to some extent, they may also need some of the money they are losing by being out of work. That’s why they created personal injury protection insurance, or PIP.
What is PIP and When do You Get It?
PIP insurance is often called no-fault insurance, because you get it after a car accident, no matter who is at fault. You don’t need to prove that anybody was at fault—even if you were at fault, or nobody was at fault, you still get access to your PIP insurance.
Although you can alter some of these amounts based on the policy that you buy, Pip will pay 80% of your medical expenses. That means that if you have a $2,000 bill, PIP will pay $1,600 immediately, no questions asked (although many policies are subject to a deductible, so the actual amount paid may be somewhat less).
You have to use PIP for injuries related to your car accident—you cannot use your own health insurance, although you can use your health insurance to pay for the amounts that PIP doesn’t pay for.
PIP insurance “travels with you,” meaning that even if you are a pedestrian, or even if you are a passenger in someone else’s car, you still get your PIP and you would still make your claim through your own PIP insurance.
PIP will also pay for lost wages, but it will only pay for 60%. The money paid for lost wages is included in the $10,000 maximum. Because the 60% is less than the 80% that is paid for medical expenses, most people will opt to use PIP for medical.
PIP is, of course, limited–$10,000 gets spent pretty quickly with the cost of medical treatment, and in a serious car accident, that $10,000 may be gone by the time you leave the emergency room.
Still, it is a good start, and a way to make sure that Florida drivers can get some initial, immediate medical care if needed.
Sometimes, PIP insurers try to get out of their obligations, by cutting off your benefits. They will say that you no longer need treatment, or that you have improved medically as much as you can be expected to improve.
If this happens, you can sue your PIP insurance, to compel them to continue to pay for the treatment that you need.
At the end of your case, PIP does not need to be paid back. However, you cannot double recover, if you get a jury verdict—that is, if PIP paid $10,000, and the jury awards you $10,000, you will get nothing, as the law starts you $10,000 “in the negative,” to account for the money already received by PIP.
Call the Tampa personal injury attorneys at Barbas Nunez Sanders Butler & Hovsepian for help if you have been in a car accident. Schedule a consultation today.