What You Need to Know About PIP After a Car Accident
Personal Injury Protection – or PIP – insurance is mandatory if you drive a car in the state of Florida. So, odds are you are covered by PIP protection even if you don’t know exactly what PIP is. So long as you, or someone in your household carries a car insurance policy (even if you don’t use the other person’s car and you’re not listed on their policy), you’re covered under PIP.
Here’s the deal, regardless of whose fault a car accident may be, your Florida PIP policy covers 80% of your reasonably necessary medical expenses, 60% of your lost wages, and 100% of household services needed in the event of incapacity, up to a total of $10,000. PIP also offers an additional $5,000 in benefits in the unfortunate event of a death. Often time, PIP coverage also protects other drivers listed on your policy, members of your household,
and passengers in your car so long as they don’t own a vehicle and are not already covered by their own car insurance policy, or a family member’s car insurance policy. Lastly, PIP also protects you in the event you’re a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, a pedestrian, or bicyclist.
PIP is often called “No Fault” insurance, and it is mandatory in states like Florida that have “no-fault” insurance laws. In no-fault states, you do not need to establish fault in order for PIP coverage to kick and pay for medical treatment and certain other expenses after automobile accidents. These laws allow you to receive up to a certain amount of money in benefits if you are hurt in an accident ($10,000 in Florida) even if the accident is your fault. PIP will cover health care expenses even if you don’t have health insurance or Medicare/Medicaid and may even reimburse a portion of your lost wages related to a car accident.
If you are injured in a car related accident that was caused by another careless driver—in other words, the accident was “not your fault”—you would first be required to use up all of your PIP benefits before pursuing a monetary claim against a third-party driver. In other words, once your $10,000 PIP benefits are exhausted, if you still have outstanding medical bills, predictable future medical bills related to the accident, a reduced ability to earn wages, or you were permanently injured in the accident, you may consider pursuing the other driver’s bodily injury liability by filing a third-party BI claim against his insurance carrier and/or filing a lawsuit against the other driver. You should seek the advice of a personal injury or car accident lawyer like myself if you are considering this.
Filing a PIP claim is simple: you submit a claim like other types of insurance, online or over the phone soon after the accident occurs. PIP will kick in immediately to cover any emergency medical expenses and potential reimbursement for lost wages pursuant to the terms in your policy.
PIP coverage varies among carriers and PIP protection can be limited if you opt out of certain PIP protections. While most people have no idea what their PIP coverage entails, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have. If you want to know more about PIP, or were involved in a car related accident, don’t hesitate to give me a call or shoot me an email. (305) 200-8748 – firstname.lastname@example.org.