Florida’s New PIP Laws – What You Need to Know by ElisonDuncan


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									    Florida’s New PIP Laws – What You Need to Know

Florida first enacted what is known as personal injury protection (PIP) in 1971 as a way of
guarantying individuals that their medical bills, whether they were at fault for the crash or not,
are paid. In exchange for that guaranteed payment, the Florida Legislature enacted a restriction
on lawsuits that would only allow individuals to seek non-economic damages (pain and
suffering) if they received a permanent injury.

More specifically, an individual’s automobile insurance policy would be the first to pay for their
medical bills and lost wages via their personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. An individual’s
insurance would be responsible for 80% of their reasonable medical expenses related to the
accident and 60% of their lost earnings up to $10,000.00, notwithstanding any deductible.

What are changes to PIP law in Florida (post January 1, 2013)?

On January 1, 2013, Florida’s new PIP law takes effect. Some changes to the Personal Injury
Attorney Fort Lauderdale include:

Starting January 1, 2013, the initial treatment must be obtained within fourteen (14) days from
the accident.

That “initial treatment” and care must be lawfully provided, supervised, ordered, or prescribed by
a licensed physician, D.O. (Doctor of Osteopath), Dentist or Chiropractor or provided in a
hospital or in a facility that owns or is wholly owned by a hospital.

Follow up treatment: PIP will only pay for follow up services if there was an initial treatment
within fourteen (14) days and the following occurs:

The follow up services are referred from an licensed physician, D.O, Dentist, Chiropractor,
supervised Physician’s Assistant or Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner; and

The follow up services are consistent with the underlying medical diagnosis rendered on the
initial visit.
If the thresholds are met, there are two (2) levels of PIP medical benefits:

$10,000 for an emergency medical condition; and

$2,500.00 for treatment that is not for any initially diagnosed emergency medical condition.

Up to the full $10,000 PIP medical benefit is available only if a licensed physician, D.O, Dentist,
supervised Physician’s Assistant or Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner determines that the
insured has an “emergency medical condition.” Otherwise, the Personal Injury Lawyer Fort
Lauderdale benefit is limited to $2,500.

Massage therapy and acupuncture are not reimbursable under the new PIP Statute (change
from old PIP laws).

A Chiropractor cannot diagnose an emergency medical condition and thus will be limited to
$2,500.00 in reimbursements for services provided unless referred by one of the specified
medical professionals listed above.

The Statute defines “emergency medical condition” as: medical conditions manifesting itself by
acute symptoms of sufficient severity, which may include severe pain, such that the absence of
immediate medical attention would be reasonable expected to result in any of the following:

Serious jeopardy to the patient health.

Serious impairment to bodily functions.

Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.

Until the term “emergency medical condition” is more clearly defined by the Courts, it is crucial
to retain an experienced personal injury attorney to fight to secure these higher benefits in
“gray-area” matters.

“WINNERS” under the new PIP laws

Insurance Companies. The new PIP laws should keep the insurance companies flush with cash
for years to come.

D.O.s(Doctor of Osteopath) and Dentists. Non-traditional / Holistic medical professionals (think
Chiropractors and Acupuncturist) will have no choice but to align themselves with D.O.s in order
to get treating patients qualified under the new guidelines.

Orthopedic Surgeons. Once chiropractors “run through” the first $2,500.00 in benefits for “non-
emergency” conditions, patients will be recommended for more expensive / invasive medical
treatment from Orthopedic Surgeons and/or physiatrists.

Individuals covered under Medicare or Medicaid or have excellent medical insurance. This is
presuming that auto insurance premiums decrease as a result of the new PIP laws.

LOSERS under the new PIP laws
ALL INDIVIDUALS, especially individuals without medical insurance. Although championed as a
way for auto insurance companies to reduce fraud, and in turn, reduce premiums, the accident
and injury attorneys Lyons, Snyder & Collin do not foresee this transpiring, especially in the
short-term. The new PIP laws include a 10% rate reduction (not guaranteed). Any insurer who
offers PIP but does not provide its consumers a 10% rate reduction must provide an explanation
(i.e. financially infeasible).

Unsavy or naïve accident victims that are not familiar with the 14 day initial treatment
requirement – especially considering that some back pain does not fully manifest itself for

Chiropractors, Massage Therapists, and Acupuncturists

If you or a family member is injured in an accident, it is important to immediately speak with a
personal injury lawyer familiar with the PIP laws in Fort Lauderdale.

Martindale "AV" personal injury lawyer Marc P. Lyons is a founding partner of Lyons, Snyder &
Collin, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney Marc P. Lyons
handles all accident and injury matters including auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and
falls, wrongful death, and dog bites. The Fort Lauderdale personal injury law firm of Lyons,
Snyder & Collin, P.A. is located at 312 Southeast 17th Street, Third Floor, Fort Lauderdale,
Florida 33316. Telephone: 954.462.8035. http://www.lyonssnyder.com/

The information in this article site was developed by Lyons, Snyder & Collin, P.A. for
informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The transmission and
receipt of information from this article does not form or constitute an attorney-client relationship
with Lyons, Snyder & Collin. Persons receiving the information from this article should not act
upon the information provided without seeking profession legal counsel.

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