PIP is the short way of saying Personal Injury Protection insurance coverage. It is not a health insurance policy. Instead, it is a type of automobile insurance policy.
As a no-fault insurance state, Florida requires motorists to purchase and maintain at least $10,000 in PIP coverage. Also, the state requires drivers to purchase a minimum of $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL) insurance.
Drivers have the option of purchasing liability insurance coverage, but they are not required to do so. Causing a car accident without liability insurance coverage could result in substantial personal liability for damages.
How Does PIP Insurance Coverage Work After a Tampa Car Accident?
PIP insurance pays benefits to the policyholder injured in a car wreck, regardless of which driver causes the car crash. Therefore, even though the other driver may cause the car wreck, you would file an insurance claim with your PIP provider. Because PIP is a type of no-fault insurance coverage, it pays your lost wages and medical bills even if you were to cause a car accident in Tampa.
Filing a PIP Claim for Medical Bills
Personal injury protection insurance covers medical expenses related to the car accident. However, there are a few essential things to know about PIP medical coverage:
- You must seek medical treatment within 14 days from the accident date, or the coverage does not apply
- You could receive PIP benefits even if you did not own a car IF you live with a blood relative or spouse who owns a car covered by PIP insurance
- Medical treatment may be provided by a medical doctor, dentist, chiropractor, hospital, or emergency medical personnel
- PIP coverage only pays up to 80 percent of your medical costs
- You must have sustained an emergency medical condition to receive the entire $10,000 in benefits. Otherwise, your benefits are limited to $2,500
There could be other factors that impact your PIP medical claim. Our Tampa accident lawyers can answer questions about medical payments coverage and offer guidance about accident claims.
Filing a PIP Loss of Income Claim
Personal Injury Protection coverage also pays benefits for loss of income caused by injuries sustained in an auto accident. You have the burden of proving your injuries prevented you from working. Therefore, be prepared to provide a medical provider statement explaining the extent of your injuries and why your injuries prevent you from performing the tasks required to do your job.
PIP benefits only cover up to 60 percent of your lost income due to injuries caused by a car accident. The money you receive for lost wages goes against the PIP limits. Therefore, if your medical bills exceed the coverage limits, no money will be left to pay a lost wages claim.
Other Benefits Under PIP Insurance Coverage
In addition to reimbursing you for lost wages and benefits to pay for medical treatment, state PIP insurance coverage may also pay up to $5,000 in death benefits for insured drivers, including the funeral expenses. It may also cover up to 60 percent of the cost of household services when a person’s injuries prevent them from performing these duties.
Can I Sue the Other Driver for Damages After Receiving PIP Insurance Benefits?
Personal Injury Protection insurance benefits are separate from a negligence claim against another driver. Under Florida’s insurance laws, an accident victim may seek compensation for damages caused by serious injuries. A negligence claim against the at-fault driver could result in compensation for several types of damages, including:
- Cost of all medical treatment, personal care, and nursing care
- Full reimbursement for all lost wages, including future income and diminished earning potential
- Impairments, disabilities, and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering from physical discomfort, mental anguish, and emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life and decreased quality of life
- Duty: The other driver owed a duty of care to you
- Breach of Duty: The other driver breached the duty of care
- Causation: The breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of your injury
- Damages: You sustained damages because of the breach of duty
An accident investigation is necessary to gather evidence proving fault, causation, and liability. The insurance company for the other driver nor the at-fault driver are interested in paying an accident claim. Therefore, it is wise to seek advice from a car accident lawyer as soon as possible so you can take the necessary steps to protect your right to fair compensation for a car accident claim.
Call Now for a Free Consultation with an Experienced Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer
Even though Florida is a no-fault insurance state for car accidents, it does not mean you could not benefit from the advice of an experienced Tampa personal injury attorney. Call today for a free consultation to discuss your accident case with an experienced car accident lawyer.