Florida’s New PIP Law Hurts Consumers

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Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, unless you work for the insurance industry, you really should be appalled by Governor Rick Scott’s latest episode of trampling all over the rights of Florida’s hard-working citizens.  Florida’s new PIP law undoubtedly hurts all consumers, Republican and Democrat alike.  In case you have not heard, Rick Scott signed a new PIP law on March 10, 2012 (or more accurately he approved amendments to the existing PIP law, most of which just went into effect on January 1, 2013).  Most people know that every Florida driver is required to have at least 10K in personal injury protection insurance which, as an aside, is pathetically low and should be much higher, since medical costs resulting from any car accidents resulting in moderate to severe injuries easily and quickly far exceed 10K.

Limits of Florida’s New PIP Law

But Rick Scott was not happy with this already dismally low coverage amount.  Mr. Scott decided to include a provision in the new law that basically says that Florida’s drivers are entitled to nothing in PIP benefits (even if they paid for them) if they do not receive initial medical care within the first 14 days of an accident.  That’s two weeks–and how fast does two weeks pass in your own life?  Also, and even worse, injured drivers are only entitled to $2500 in coverage for anything other than an “emergency medical condition,” which is an elaborately and very narrowly defined term under the new PIP statute.  The law also significantly restricts chiropractic care, and eliminates acupuncture and massage therapy treatments from coverage.  So those who want alternative treatments, which many believe are more holistic and and less intrusive, are out of luck under this new law.

The Result?  We All Pay More For Less

The $2500 limit for anything other than emergency conditions means that in most cases you will still have to pay your insurance company for 10K in coverage, but in the overwhelming majority of cases you will not actually receive 10K in coverage if you are injured in an accident.  Rather, the law will lead to greater insurance profits at your expense.

Potential Pending Judicial Reprieve

The good news is that, on March 15, 2013, one circuit court judge issued a temporary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of this new law on the grounds that it violated an individual’s right under the Florida Constitution to have “access to courts.”  But the ultimate fate of this law is still unknown because that ruling is still on appeal.  And Rick Scott, in bed with the rich insurance companies who help fund his campaigns, has, of course, vowed to keep fighting.


About the Author:

Tina Willis is a Florida & Georgia personal injury & wrongful death attorney. This includes auto accidents, slip and fall accidents, products & premises liability cases, as well as medical malpractice cases. Ms. Willis operates a boutique law firm from Orlando, Florida, focused on maintaining a reasonable case load so that she can provide personalized service to each and every one of her clients. She spends a tremendous amount of time helping her clients understand how they can help increase the value of their cases, sometimes significantly. After graduating second in her class from Florida State University College of Law in 1995, Ms. Willis worked as an attorney for two large Atlanta defense firms, where she practiced employment and excess insurer defense. Ms. Willis also worked as a professor of Civil Procedure & Advanced Legal Writing at Barry University in Orlando, Florida. Ms. Willis has a "superb" AVVO rating, and was selected by the National Trial Lawyers, as a "Top 100 Trial Lawyer." She now devotes her passion and compassion to her unwavering goal of helping her clients fully achieve the justice they deserve, in the form of maximum compensation for their injuries and losses. Before you hire another law firm, you owe it to yourself to hear what Ms. Willis has to say. Consultations and representation never cost you a penny until she wins your case.
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