A Short Follow Up On The PIP News Front
We recently posted an entry about the many reports of rampant car insurance fraud in Florida. The fraud consists of staging phony car accidents, among other forms of dishonesty. Unfortunately, Tampa is one of the leading areas for this crime. This has prompted Rick Scott to pursue automobile insurance reform.
Florida is one of only 10 other states that are termed ‘no-fault’ automobile accident states, meaning that motorists here are required only to have PIP insurance and are responsible up to $10,000 for their own medical expenses. The majority of states have what is known as tort insurance. That mandates that motorists purchase bodily insurance coverage. As was noted, Governor Scott insists that it is within the PIP framework that the systemic fraud exists. Those that say reform is required claim that PIP fraud drives insurance premiums higher for everyone. Florida’s insurance commissioner, Kevin McCarty, says that total PIP benefits paid between 2008 and 2010 increased from $1.4 billion to $2.3 billion, a 70 percent rise. This money comes from premiums paid by all drivers.
As reported by the Miami Herald, Rick Scott and other reformers recently received bad news:
“State Consumer Advocate Robin Westcott, who works for CFO Jeff Atwater, reported that a work group on car insurance fraud completed its work without finding common ground on reform. "Nobody agreed on anything," Westcott said of the panel of representatives of doctors, hospitals, clinics, lawyers, and consumers. "Everybody was interested in protecting their access to this benefit."
As an example of the consequences of the epidemic of PIP fraud, one insurer in the Miami area increased annual premiums to over $3,000. Compare that to the same coverage premiums from 3 years ago that totaled $500 and it’s obvious the detrimental effect fraud is having on the law abiding consumer in the state. Unfortunately, automobile accidents in Florida have evidently become a mill for criminal profiteers.
Several state officials made the claim that the insurance fraud task force couldn’t get detailed information on claims from automobile insurance companies concerning automobile wrecks and fraud. The issue is so hot that it promises to be a leading point of contention in the upcoming political races of 2012.
Being in an automobile accident in Hernando County, Florida is a frightening, often traumatic experience. If you suspect you were involved in an accident which was somehow staged, it can also be an angering experience. Automobile, truck and motorcycle accidents are sometimes life-changing events that can cause you personal injury, time missed from work and lost wages and escalating medical bills. Examples of serious injuries resulting from car wrecks include:
- Head and brain injury
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injury
- Neck injuries
If you or anyone you know has been involved in a Brooksville or central Florida traffic accident, give the experienced attorneys at Lowman Law Firm a call to schedule a consultation. We will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident to determine whether you were involved in a possible insurance fraud scam – and we will relentlessly pursue those responsible for all compensation.