What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and how does it work?

The Florida Legislature passed a bill that took effect January 1, 2013. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident this new law changes everything.

A little background: P-I-P stands for Personal Injury Protection, and it’s a certain insurance coverage that all Floridians have on their insurance policy. Its money that is available to pay for 80% of your reasonable and related medical bills or 60% of your lost wages, if you can’t work because of the injuries you sustained in the car crash.

If you’re wondering why YOUR OWN auto insurance company should have to pay for anything, since this accident was the other driver’s fault, the answer is simple;. Florida is considered a “no-fault” state. That means regardless of whose fault the accident was, everybody’s OWN auto insurance is going to cover the first portion of their medical bills and lost wages.

If you don’t get medical treatment within 14 days of your accident, guess how much P-I-P you’ll get? None! What’s more, even if you do see a medical professional within the first 14 days, a doctor must diagnose you with an “Emergency Medical Condition”, or else you will be limited to $2,500 in PIP. A chiropractor is no longer allowed to diagnose a condition as an “emergency medical condition”, so even though you might be seeing a chiropractor to help you hea, you’ll still need to see a doctor, nurse practioner or physician assistant at least once. He or she will do an exam and determine whether you have an “emergency medical condition. If you do, and if you saw a medical professional within 14 days of your accident, you’ll get $10,000 in PIP.

So, if you are hurt from an accident, don’t just take Tylenol or Advil and assume you’ll just get better with time. If you are hurt, seek medical care immediately. If you don’t, you might just be throwing away $10,000 in insurance benefits that you have already paid for.