Car accidents are always unfortunate experiences. From the shock and fear, to injuries and damage to your car, there are so many things to attend to — and most of the time, you’re left wondering how to move forward. Should you file a claim with your own insurance company? How much information should you give the other driver? What will happen with all of your medical bills? To add insult to injury, you may also have to take time off from work to deal with everything. What’s going to happen with those lost wages? There are many components to negligence lawsuits after a car accident. One that may help you get started is to file a personal injury protection claim.
What is personal injury protection?
Personal injury protection (PIP) is coverage that’s required by law to be included in all car insurance policies in the state of Florida. Specifically, it pays for up to 80% of medical bills and 60% of lost wages, up to a maximum amount of $10,000. This type of coverage is available to the following individuals:
- The named insured
- Relatives of the named insured who reside in the same household as the insured
- Anyone operating the insured motor vehicle
- Passengers in the insured motor vehicle
- Anyone who’s struck by the insured motor vehicle
In order to receive these benefits, you are required to file your claim with your own insurance company within 14 days from the date of the accident. Therefore, it’s crucial to obtain medical care — even if you feel fine — as soon as possible. This is especially important since it’s common for symptoms of injury to be delayed due to adrenaline rushing through your body at the time of the accident. Do not assume you’re ok. Let a healthcare professional make that assessment. As for lost wages, these are payable every two weeks.
The good thing about personal injury protection is that it provides partial relief for minor accidents. However, it still leaves motorists with uncovered expenses — e.g. 20% of medical bills, and 40% of lost wages, if these are lower than $10,000.
What happens to costs not covered by personal injury protection?
There are several options to recover damages not covered by personal injury protection. These include:
- Medical Payment Coverage: Commonly known as MedPay, this type of optional insurance add-on would cover the 20% of medical expenses not covered by personal injury protection.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This type of optional insurance protection would come in handy if you got into an accident with someone who only has the minimum coverage required by law and your damages exceed those minimums, or if the person is uninsured.
- Filing a lawsuit: Filing a lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident provides an option for people who either suffered damages that exceed $10,000 and/or don’t have insurance add-ons such as MedPay or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Will my insurance rate go up if I file a PIP claim?
Personal injury protection is available to Florida drivers regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Filing a PIP claim with your own insurance company won’t automatically result in higher premiums. The only way they would be able to do so is if they can make a good faith determination that you were substantially at fault for the accidents. If you have evidence that the other driver caused the crash, your rates should remain the same as if you hadn’t filed the claim.
If you got into a car accident and were not at fault, let us help you.
Every car accident is different. There are many factors that determine the drivers’ level of liability. Let’s discuss your case. We’ll look for ways to have all of your expenses covered — for present and future treatment — as long as they relate to the accident.
At Carey, Leisure & Neal, we have more than three decades of combined experience successfully representing clients involved in car accidents. Our attorneys pride themselves on being accessible and responding to questions quickly. All of our named partners are Board Certified in civil trial law. Contact us online or call us at (727) 799-3900 to schedule a free consultation.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.