New Automobile Accidents Law in Florida Affects All of Us

By Attorney Alejandro R. Lopez

Unfortunately, Florida’s legislature has placed in effect beginning on January 1st, 2013, a new law which affects all of us who drive a car in Florida.

As all of you know, in Florida all of us who drive are under the legal obligation of paying (and have in effect) an automobile insurance coverage called “Personal Injury Protection”. This insurance pays, in case of an automobile accident, for your:

1. 80% of medical bills which arise (without taking into consideration who is at fault for the accident), due to the automobile accident. The insurance company pays 80% of the medical bills up to an amount of $10,000,

2. 60% of wage loss which arise (again, without considering who is at fault for the automobile accident), and

3. Up to $10,000.00 in case of death as a result of the accident.

Beginning on January 1st, 2013, those benefits have been highly restricted in the following manner an according to law:

A. If you are in an automobile accident and do not seek medical treatment during the first fourteen (14) days of the accident, your car insurance (P.I.P.) could deny you the benefits mentioned above,

B. The “initial medical services” must be provided, supervised, ordered and/or assigned by an osteopath, dentist, or chiropractor, or must be provided in a hospital, or in a health care facility owned in part, or in whole, by a hospital,

C. Your “P.I.P.” will only pay for medical services which you incur as a result of a motor vehicle accident, only if you appeared to obtain medical treatment within the fourteen (14) days of the accident, AND if the following takes place:

1. The medical services are based on a doctor’s referral, chiropractic, or orthodpedic, AND

2. The medical services are consistent with the medical diagnosis which is issued to you on your initial medical visit.

Also:

If all of the above is accomplished, then your P.I.P. provides two types of payments:

Up to $10,000.00  if your condition is determined to be of “emergency” or up to only $2,500.00 of your $10,000.00 coverage if your medical condition afte the accident is determined not to be an “emergency”.

The law determines that an “emergency” condition is defined as those medical conditions which are manifested with acute symptoms of sufficient severity, which include severe pain in a way that the absence of medical attention will result in:

.Serious damage to the patient’s health,

.Serious incapacity to corporal functions, and/or

.Serious incapacity to any body organ or body part.

Additionally:

Massage therapies and/or acupuncture will not be paid by your “P.I.P.” insurance under the new law.

These changes seriously affect your benefits under insurance policies for which we all have been paying premiums for years. It is, therefore, very important, that you contact your lawyer directly in case of accident, and without the need to go through any attorney referral company, so that you can be immediately advised of your legal rights and obligations. Our Firm has processed hundreds of automobile accidents since 1999, and we will be at your immediate disposition to advise you and guide you after your accident. You can contact us through a simple electronic mail to: info@yourattorneyinorlando.com, or through our website: http://www.yourattorneyinorlando.com, or calling our Firm at: (407) 649-1404.

Drive carefully.

 

 

 

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