Car accidents are a daily occurrence in Tampa, FL. Unfortunately; personal injuries often result from car accidents. While there are many legitimate personal injury claims, it is not that uncommon for fraudulent claims to be filed. Florida actually leads the nation in medical insurance fraud according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. In an effort to reduce false claims from being successfully filed, Florida passed a law that went into effect on January 1, 2013. The law for Florida’s no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) now makes it harder to collect PIP benefits.
The changes are something every Florida resident should be aware of, and include:
- A requirement for a long-form traffic report to be completed and filed by law enforcement if any of the car accident victims suffer from personal injury, even if it is minor pain or discomfort at the time of the accident. If your information is not included in the report, you will not be eligible for PIP benefits.
- There is now a 14-day limit to seeking initial medical care for any sustained injuries. Medical treatment must be sought by the victim from a hospital, urgent care facility, doctor, licensed chiropractor or dentist.
- In order to receive the maximum $10,000 benefit, you must be diagnosed with an emergency medical condition by a physician, osteopath doctor, and dentist, advanced RN or a supervised physician’s assistant.
- The maximum benefit allowed for a non-emergency medical condition is $2,500.
- In order to be eligible for medical care, you must receive a referral from a MD, DO, licensed chiropractor or dentist. Massage therapists and acupuncturists are no longer covered through PIP benefits.
- In addition to the 30 days insurance carriers have to provide benefits, the insurance company can now notify the victim within that 30 days that the claim is being investigated for fraud and take up to 60 more days to conduct an investigation.
- An insurance provider can now mandate that a car accident victim submit to an independent medical examination to receive any PIP benefits. Not complying with this exam could result in forfeiting any monies.
If you have suffered any personal injury resulting from a car accident in Tampa, FL, contact our personal injury lawyer, Bryan Caulfield, to ensure your legal rights are protected.