Florida is one of only twelve no-fault states. What exactly does this mean? The State of Florida requires all drivers to carry $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. As such, if you are in an auto accident, your insurance company is obligated to pay up to the policy limit regardless of fault. Due to abuses and fraud involving PIP coverage resulting in increasing insurance costs, PIP has been the subject of much debate and controversy in Florida.
Last year, Florida reformed its No-Fault Auto Insurance Law in an effort to reduce fraud and to slow the ever-rising costs of auto insurance. These reforms require injured drivers to seek medical attention within fourteen days after an accident or otherwise forfeit PIP coverage completely. This provision is problematic for many accident victims whose injuries from are not immediately obvious. Additionally, the reforms limit medical coverage for non-emergency injuries to $2,500. If the absence of medical treatment an injury would result in serious negative health consequences for the victim, the injury will be considered an emergency injury. As such, auto accident victims with painful and even long-term injuries that are considered non-emergency injuries will only be eligible for $2,500 of PIP coverage.
Because of the drastic consequences these reforms can have on drivers, many in the State of Florida are dissatisfied with the current law. Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit Court temporarily blocked the enforcement of some parts of last year’s reforms that would limit insurance coverage for massage and acupuncture treatment for non-emergency injuries. Given the recent court decision and continued opposition to PIP reform, some are now calling for a complete termination of the no-fault rule in Florida. Staged accidents and improper medical billing run rampant in Florida’s no-fault system. As such, balancing the State’s interest in reducing fraud with victims’ interest in recouping the costs of their injuries has proven difficult.
Posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents | Tagged car accident, insurance coverage, No-Fault Auto Insurance Law, PIP Insurance