Florida’s Personal Injury Protection insurance (PIP) started back in 1971 when Florida became only the second state in the US to adopt a “no fault” automobile insurance plan. The plan was devised to counter the number of law suits for Florida car accident claims by providing a “quick and efficient” means to compensate those injured in a Florida car wreck.
The principle underlying no-fault insurance is that it is supposed to guarantee the payment of medical expenses, lost wages and death benefits to a party regardless of who is actually at fault for the crash. Since its inception, more than a dozen other states have adopted a similar no-fault insurance provision.
Since I started representing people injured in North Miami-Dade County Florida truck crashes over twenty years ago, I have seen thousands of cases litigated on the issues of whether or not the victim’s medical treatment was appropriate, adequate or related to the accident. This type of litigation is commonly referred to in Florida as a PIP suit. Florida PIP laws are governed by the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law. Generally the party who wins a question regarding a PIP insurance policy payment is entitled to attorney’s fees under Florida’s Attorney’s Fee Statute §627.48.
According to a recent article in the Orlando Sentential, Florida’s Governor Rick Scott with his Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater have put PIP on their sites for a major overhaul. The article quotes Governor Scott stating that Florida is plagued by “staged accidents” and “over billing,” amounting to more than $910 million in fraud paid by auto insurance companies.
I wonder whether Governor Scott also has a plan to evaluate the amount of money that auto insurance companies bill their insured’s for defending legitimate claims by paying defense lawyers and doctors to come to trial to testify against the injured? Or how much they spend on airing television commercials every fifteen minutes.
A new House proposal is aimed at limiting PIP coverage to just emergency room treatment and follow up care. That will put an unnecessary burden on the injured to “clog” up emergency rooms to get diagnosed to be treated for sprains and muscle aches. Unless of course, Governor Scott wants to increase traffic and PIP payments to hospitals?
While our policymakers and legislators focus on this year’s session and on PIP in particular, as Key Largo car crash death injury lawyers, we hope that they will consider making Bodily Injury and Uninsured Motorist Coverage mandatory. Florida is one of the few states in the country that does not require the mandatory purchase of BI insurance. Mandatory Bodily Injury insurance will require that all owners and operators of cars or trucks in Florida have sufficient coverage to pay for the physical and financial damage they cause others. In other words, we believe Florida should have mandatory At-Fault insurance to cover the harm caused victims of Florida’s negligent or careless drivers. If you agree click here to let Florida Governor Rick Scott know.