Florida’s New No-Fault Insurance Law: 2013 Changes

by on Jul. 02, 2013 in Accident & Injury · Car Accident, Motor Vehicle, Health Care

Summary: Changes passed by the Florida Legislature in 2013 are far more favorable to auto insurance companies than to consumers injured in auto accidents. Some of these changes severely limit your rights to obtain medical and wage-loss benefits under your own No-Fault auto insurance.


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Florida’s New No-Fault Insurance Law: 2013 Changes

By Michael Hancock

Changes took effect to the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law, §627.730, Florida Statutes, in January, 2013 which severely limit your rights to obtain medical and wage-loss benefits under your own no-fault insurance, also known as PIP insurance.   These recent changes passed by the Florida Legislature are far more favorable to auto insurance companies than to consumers injured in auto accidents.   Fortunately, a Florida judge has issued a temporary injunction regarding further implementation of several limits on available PIP benefits
and the exclusion of some medical professionals from the list of approved healthcare providers
.

Florida No-Fault Law

Florida's No-Fault insurance law first went in to effect in 1972. Since then, the law has undergone several reforms, but the basic idea remains the same: if a driver is involved in a car accident, his or her own auto insurance will cover certain expenses regardless of who was at fault.   Current Florida law requires drivers purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance in the amount of at least $10,000.  Among other benefits, PIP coverage pays for 80% of medical bills and 60% of lost wages, up to the coverage limits of $10,000.

Some Changes in 2013 that you need to know

1.   You must seek initial medical treatment within 14 days of the accident.

2. The initial diagnosis must be made by the following: a licensed medical doctor (M.D.) a Doctor of Osteopath (D.O.), Dentist (DMD), Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), or provided in a hospital or in a medical facility owne d by a hospital.  3.   In order to be eligible for your entire $10,000 of PIP benefits, you must be diagnosed with an “emergency medical condition,” which means a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, which may include severe pain, such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in any of the following:

(a) Serious jeopardy to patient health;

(b) Serious impairment to bodily functions; or

(c) Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.

4. If you are not diagnosed with an “emergency medical condition,” you are limited to only $2,500 in PIP benefits.

5. Your follow-up medical treatment is limited to care consistent with the initial medical diagnosis and must be provided, supervised, or ordered by a licensed medical doctor (M.D.) a Doctor of Osteopath (D.O.), Dentist (DMD), Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), physician assistant (PA) or ARNP (advanced registered nurse practitioner).

6. Your PIP medical benefits no longer include massage therapy or acupuncture. These forms of treatment will have to be paid out-of-pocket or by health insurance.

7. Your PIP insurance company may require you to undergo an "Examination Under Oath" (EUO). The scope of questioning during the examination under oath is limited to relevant information or information that could reasonably be expected to lead to relevant information. This has the potential to be a lengthy and invasive questioning by the insurance company’s adjuster or lawyer about your entire medical history.

The 2013 changes to Florida’s No-Fault Law are hailed as a victory for the auto insurance companies. And as expected, representatives of the insurance companies have vowed take any necessary action to overturn the pending temporary injunction.

We want you to be an informed consumer about your auto insurance coverage. Visit us at www.lawhancock.com for more information about Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Law or call us toll free at 888-975-1110 with your auto accident questions.

Article posted with keywords: Florida PIP, Florida No-Fault Auto Insurance, 2013 Changes

Lawyer website: www.lawhancock.com




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