What you need to know about PIP in Florida

What is PIP insurance?

This insurance is required by law, thus if you have personal automobile insurance in Florida, you have these benefits (taxi cabs and/or commercial vehicles may or may not have this coverage). These benefits typically pay 80% of the medical bills incurred and pay lost wages of 60% up to a total of $10,000. However you may have a deductible which affects these benefits as well.

Changes for Car Accidents in 2013

On January 1, 2013 the laws governing car accident injury cases in Florida greatly changed. Florida is what is often referred to as a “no fault state.” This means when you are in an accident regardless of fault for the accident, your car insurance pays for your medical bills at 80% up to $10,000.00. This is what is commonly referred to as “PIP” or “personal injury protection” benefits.

What You Need to Know

Unlike what you hear on the radio every day in south Florida, PIP benefits does not result in money being paid to you. PIP is “benefits” paid on your behalf to medical providers so that you can seek the medical treatment needed after a car accident. The wage-loss portions of these benefits are often paid directly to you but it is done so at 60% of the money that you lost from missing work.

CALL JOHN MOONEY TODAY!

John is South Florida’s leading injury lawyer for car accident, truck accident, dog bite, and slip and fall personal injury cases.

With our proven record of success, our personal injury attorneys represent the very best in the personal injury industry. Call (954) 449-2671 today to get John on the case!

Time is of the Essence

The above-described PIP benefits have been the law in Florida for over thirty years, however, in 2013, the Florida legislature passed additional requirements that must be met for you to be able to take advantage of these benefits. The first requirement is time sensitive and very important. It states you must seek medical care within the first fourteen days after a car accident or your insurance company does not have to pay out these benefits at all! Most personal injury attorneys feel this new rule should be deemed unconstitutional because it is essentially the government allowing an insurance company to take away benefits that they promised to pay and for which you already paid the premiums. However, right now this is the law and you should know it. If you are injured in an accident you must seek medical care within the first fourteen days or you lose your benefits entirely.

Emergency Medial Condition

In addition to the time limit, the new law also states that for you to receive all of your PIP benefits you must be suffering from an “emergency medical condition” after the accident. The definition and requirements for such a condition is a highly contested issue in Florida between doctors and insurance companies. The best thing to do if you are injured in an automobile accident is to go to the hospital immediately after the accident. Hospitals are the most trained and knowledgeable about assessing an emergency medical condition. If you are not able to go to the hospital after the accident, your best alternative is to seek a medical doctor for assessment.

Don’t Go it Alone!

These new rules are very cumbersome and complicated; a mistake could cost your thousands, or even tens of thousands. Remember if you are injured in a car accident seek a personal injury law firm that specializes in car accidents. One that is in good standing with the Florida Bar, and one with decades of experience to get you all the benefits and compensation you deserve.

Understanding Your Auto Policy

Many people automatically assume they have “full coverage”, only to get into an accident and find out they do not. Do not wait until you get injured in an accident to find out that you do not have adequate coverage. Call your insurance professional today, ask all the right questions and make sure you are protected. Below is a very brief description of car insurance coverages available to you. This is not all you need to know but it is a good foundation to start a conversation with your insurance agent.

Car insurance coverage can make all the difference in Florida

The most important piece of advice that I can tell all my clients is to KNOW YOUR POLICY!

Bodily Injury Coverage (BI)

This is the amount of money that pays another party for their injuries if you are at fault for hurting them. This coverage is very, very, important and actually IS NOT required by Florida Law! That’s right, Florida law does not require this coverage but it is very important. If you are involved in a car accident and you are found to be at fault, you may be held responsible for the other parties’ injuries. This coverage is normally sold in stages of limits. Typically the limits are $10,000, $25,000, $50,000, $100,000, $250,000, $500,000, $1M and up. This is the maximum amount of money that your car insurance will pay the other party who is injured in the accident. If you do not have this coverage, or if you do not have enough, you could get sued personally for these injuries. This is a very scary thought! An injured party could even garnish your wages from work if they win a case against you. Don’t take this chance, buy this coverage and buy enough, so that if you hurt another person, your insurance pays them.

CALL JOHN MOONEY TODAY!

John is South Florida’s leading injury lawyer for car accident, truck accident, dog bite, and slip and fall personal injury cases.

With our proven record of success, our personal injury attorneys represent the very best in the personal injury industry. Call (954) 449-2671 today to get John on the case!

Property Damage

This coverage IS REQUIRED by Florida Law. It is also typically sold in stages of limits; they are typically $10,000, $20,000, $25,000, $50,000, $100,000, $250,000 $500,000 $1M and up. These limits are the maximum amount of money your insurance will pay another party for damages to or to replace their car. It is very important to choose these limits wisely, if you do not have enough coverage there is a very good chance that you will get sued. This is because it is not up to the other party that owns the car, but it is up to their insurance company. Let’s face it, if an insurance company has a chance to sue you to recover money they paid out, they are going to do it!

Collision / Comprehensive / Rental

This coverage is very, very important. It is the amount of money that your car insurance will pay you to repair or replace your car. Imagine being without your car for 3 days, 5 days, a week, a month! Most of us multitaskers don’t even want to think about this. The inconvenience alone when in an accident is traumatic and stressful. This coverage will ensure your car is repaired correctly. It will also ensure you have a rental car at your convenience during the repair time. If your car is totaled as a result of the accident, it will ensure that you are able to replace it with a comparable car. DO NOT rely on the other party’s insurance company to cover these problems. Often time the other company can take weeks even months to pay out these monies or they may try to not pay at all. Or it could be that the other person does not have car insurance at all. Do NOT take the risk; protect yourself, your job and your family, buy this coverage and buy enough! Do not ignore this coverage just because it is not required by Florida law.

Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM)

This is unquestionably the most important and underused coverage! This coverage can make all the difference in the world to you and your family. This coverage is very similar to bodily injury coverage but instead of paying the other person for their injuries, it allows your insurance to pay you for your injuries. Even though this coverage is categorically essential, it is NOT REQUIRED by Florida law! If you are hit and injured by someone else DO NOT rely on them or their insurance to pay you for your injuries. Buy this very important insurance coverage to have.

First Steps Following a Personal Injury Accident

Personal injury situations are terrifying, it is however, critically important to keep calm and make the right decisions. The decisions you choose to make following a personal injury event can affect the amount of compensation that you will receive upon following through with your personal injury claim.

  • Get medical attention
  • Keep all of your records, photos, and keep detailed notes
  • Following up and pursuing your injury claim

Get Medical Help!

The first thing to consider after you have been injured, even if you are feeling okay is to seek medical attention. It is good for peace of mind to know the status of your condition and also this will add weight to your personal injury claim. It is very difficult to prove that injuries were a result of a specific event without the review of a licensed physician.

Keep All of Your Records, Photos and Keep Detailed Notes

By keeping all of your records, photos, and notes you will not only be in control of the situation but you will also be able to arm your personal injury attorney with the tools he needs to peruse your injury claim. This will give you the best opportunity to receive the largest amount of compensation available.
Keep notes regarding all of your injury care; Doctors records, Chiropractors logs, Physical Therapist appointments, and any other professionals that you were referred to that are relevant to your personal injury case.

To add more weight, and to help fight for your compensation, do the following:

  • Keep all notes and records regarding the accident.
  • Take photos at the scene of the accident and try to include photos of the surrounding area including road signs, traffic lights, etc.
  • Keep records of financial expenses, monetary losses, financial damages, lost opportunities, lost wages, etc.

Following up and pursuing your injury claim

Lastly, it is critically important to file your claim as soon as possible preceding the personal injury event. Each state defines a statute of limitations for which your personal injury lawyer must adhere to. Once this statute is exceeded there is nothing else your personal injury attorney can do to help you collect your compensation. The best thing to do is get in contact with a professional Injury Attorney as soon as possible.

CALL JOHN MOONEY TODAY!

John is South Florida’s leading injury lawyer for car accident, truck accident, dog bite, and slip and fall personal injury cases.

With our proven record of success, our personal injury attorneys represent the very best in the personal injury industry. Call (954) 449-2671 today to get John on the case!

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The Truth About Insurance Companies – Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney

[cs_dropcap column_size=”1/1″ cs_dropcap_section_title=”The truth about insurance companies” dropcap_style=”box” dropcap_size=”0″ dropcap_color=”#fff” dropcap_bg_color=”#ec2c3b”]Watching TV during the day or after a hard day’s work can be addicting. Of course if your TV is on for more than thirty minutes, you are certain to see several commercials for auto insurance. Auto insurance in Florida is BIG BUSINESS and each insurance company wants your business. Auto insurers pay millions and millions of dollars in clever advertising to get you to choose them instead of their competition. They do this by promising to save you money on the rates (premiums) over all the other companies, but what they fail to disclose is that sometimes those rates are directly related to the service you will get if you are injured in an accident. [/cs_dropcap]

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[cs_heading column_size=”1/1″ heading_title=”The truth is insurance companies are in it for profit!” heading_style=”1″ heading_align=”center” heading_divider=”on” heading_font_style=”normal”][/cs_heading]

We have heard them all:  State Farm is like a good neighbor; Allstate wants you to think you are in good hands; and Nationwide wants you to believe they are on your side.  State Farm in reality makes a terrible neighbor, and you are definitely not in good hands with Allstate.  Let’s face it, regardless of all the persuasive advertisements out there, insurance companies are in business for one reason, and that it to make a profit!  This means a company needs to take in more money in premiums than it pays out in losses.  We all know they work hard to take in a lot of premiums by getting you to switch to their companies but what most consumers don’t realize until it is too late is that they work just as hard to not pay out in benefits even when they are supposed to.  This is when a great car accident attorney can make all the difference.

If you are in an accident and it is your fault, your insurance company should protect you by paying the other person.  You pay for property damage coverage (this pays for damage to the other person’s car or the value of the car if totaled).  Your insurance has the obligation to pay for these damages in full up to the amount of limit you may have. If they fail to pay or do not pay properly, you are the one that gets sued! Not them!  It is the same if you injure someone in an accident.  If you are found to be at fault for the accident, (normally determined by the investigating officer on the scene) and the other party is injured, your insurance company has promised to pay them for their injuries.  If they fail to do so or fail to do so properly, again, you get sued, not the insurance carrier.

[cs_quote column_size=”1/1″ cs_quote_section_title=”” quote_cite_url=”#” quote_align=”center”]”When in an accident, what insurance company and coverage you have makes all the difference”[/cs_quote]

If you are not at fault for the accident, you may have to rely on your car insurance to repair your car, or pay you for it if it is totaled.  This should also include getting a rental car while your car is being assessed or repaired.  This process alone can be daunting; often time neither insurance company wants to accept liability (fault) for the accident even when the evidence is clear.  Insurance companies use tactics like delay and making you put out money up front to discourage you and ultimately persuade you to accept less monies than you deserve.  Don’t let them get away with this!  Hire a competent qualified attorney to fight on your side! At the law offices of John D. Mooney PA, we help you with every step of the process from getting a rental car, to getting you the amount you deserve for your injuries.  You never ever pay money up front; in fact, you never pay money out of your pocket at all, whatsoever.  We only get paid if we recover money for your injuries.

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