As we’ve told you in previous articles, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage contributes to Florida’s no-fault rule, in which you go through your own auto insurance for your medical bills and treatment. This is regardless of who is at fault. While this may seem strange at first, it minimizes time you have to wait until receiving medical care after an impact—because sometimes, seeing a physician simply can’t wait. Actually, in the case of most accidents, medical treatment should never wait.
That said, we are here to explain some of the stipulations of PIP, including emergency medical conditions (or an EMC) and how it affects your allocated funds from your auto insurance company.
Adjusted PIP Laws
To start, it’s useful to define an emergency medical condition: summed up, it is a medical condition that, if not treated immediately, could result in “placing the health of the individual in serious jeopardy,” or causing “serious impairment” or “serious dysfunction.”
Those of you who have reviewed your declarations page know that PIP pays 80% of $10,000 dollars toward your medical bills for injuries related to the accident (it also pays for lost wages and transportation, if applicable).
Around 2013, however, the PIP laws were adjusted in the following ways:
You must receive treatment within 14 days of an accident or you won’t be eligible for your PIP coverage
To receive the entire $10,000, you must get clearance of an EMC by a qualified physician; otherwise, you’re only able to receive $2,500
Massage therapy and acupuncture are no longer covered under PIP
Detailing the EMC
Unfortunately, the aforementioned points mean that a chiropractor cannot give you an EMC—according to the new laws, only doctors such as an M.D. can diagnose an EMC in order to warrant $10,000 under PIP. Make sure you contact an expert personal injury attorney in order to assist you further with your claim, as well as your treating physician concerning the EMC.
Why was this rule placed into effect, you may be asking? In the effort to reduce fraud and help reinforce that all injuries are causational to the accident itself and not another incident. This is why it’s integral on your first trip to the hospital or doctor to let them know about all aches and pains you’ve gotten since the accident happened. Keep a diary of this if you need to; this will make it easier for you to receive PIP for those injuries than if you decide to tell the doctor a month later.
Still have questions about how the EMC affects your PIP coverage, or the PIP coverage of your loved ones? Were you in an accident and feel lost? Don’t worry—there are many resources we have that can help, including the opportunity to speak to an attorney with no obligation. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, which is why it’s so important to contact an attorney regarding your accident and case circumstances.
Being in a car accident is frightening and can be very disorienting. At the very least, take away this knowledge regarding PIP and how it can help you take some of the burden off while you recover.