About Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage is a type of insurance coverage that is necessary in states that have “no fault” car insurance. There are 12 such “no fault” states where PIP coverage is necessary, including Florida.
No fault car insurance is, essentially, a method by which state legislatures have chosen to streamline the process of car accident insurance claims, particularly smaller claims. In this type of insurance, fault is not assigned after an accident.
So, rather than pursuing the other insurance company for the costs associated with property damage, medical bills, or lost wages, your own car insurance company covers these costs. Because of this, PIP is mandatory in Florida.
PIP, as the name suggests, will compensate you up to applicable limits after a car accident. You do not have to sue or take action against the other driver in any way – you simply file with your own insurance company.
Florida Insurance Requirements state that all drivers must carry $10,000 in PIP, but you can choose a policy with a higher limit. Typically, your insurance will cover 80% of the cost of medical services, and 60% of your lost wages, up to your policy maximum.
How Does A PIP Insurance Claim Work?
If you’re injured in a car accident, you will need to contact your auto insurer. Then, your own insurance company will pay for a portion of your medical bills and reimburse you for some or all of your lost earnings, up to the amount of your claim or the limits of your policy.
However, if your medical bills exceed the limit on your PIP policy, you will then be responsible for paying for the remainder of your treatment, just as you normally would.
At this point, your private health insurance may kick in, or if you are on a state-run Medicaid program, these insurance programs will pay the bills up to applicable limits. If you don’t have health insurance, you will have to cover the cost of your medical bills out-of-pocket after you reach the PIP maximum outlined by your insurance policy.
Can I Recover Compensation Beyond PIP Insurance?
Because Florida is a no-fault insurance state, you can’t sue the other driver and their insurance company unless there are very specific circumstances involved in the accident. The whole point of “no-fault” auto insurance is that it eliminates the need for drivers to sue each other for minor accidents.
However, if you are in a very serious accident, you still may be able to obtain compensation above and beyond your PIP insurance coverage limits.
If you meet one or more of the following criteria, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the other driver and their insurance company.
- Wrongful death
- Permanent and significant loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent and significant scarring
- Any injury identified by doctors as permanent
If these conditions are present, you may be able to work with an Orlando car accident lawyer like the team at Bengal Law too file a personal injury suit and recover compensation for pain and suffering, expenses associated with medical care, lost and diminished earning capacity, lost wages and benefits, and other such damages.