Who pays for medical bills in a car accident in Florida?
Miami Car Accident Attorney. The hope is that if the car accident is not your fault and was caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional act, the at-fault person or the owner of that vehicle will ultimately pay for your medical medical bills either through their liability insurance coverage, called bodily injury limits, or through personal or business assets if it is a wealthy individual or big company. In Florida, we also have a special no fault insurance law that applies to most car accidents. It is called PIP or no fault insurance benefits. Every driver who owns or leases a vehicle in the state of Florida is required to carry $10,000 of PIP (personal injury protection) that may cover your medical bills up to that amount. This coverage is the minimum a driver/owner must maintain by law and it can cover medical bills regardless of who is at fault for the accident. It is the primary insurance for any car accident before any other insurance kicks in, this includes the at fault driver’s insurance or your own health insurance. PIP is charged first in any accident where a registered and insured Florida vehicle is involved.
There are certain time limits that have to be met right after the accident in order to qualify PIP (personal injury protection). PIP may cover medical pills up to $10,000 which will help pay for early medical treatment so you can get diagnosed quickly without paying any medical bills out of your own pocket. To qualify for PIP benefits you typically need a doctor to declare you have an emergency medical condition (EMC) within 14 days of the accident. It is important that you seek a personal injury car accident lawyer to ensure you go to a medical provider who is familiar with this law or who can work with your medical provider afterward to ensure proper steps are followed.
According to the 2012 amendment to the PIP Statute, an EMC is a medical condition that manifests by acute symptoms of âsufficient severityâ and that without immediate medical treatment could result in serious health complications, serious impairment or bodily function, or serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part. A doctor must make that determination immediately following the accident. Only qualified physicians, dentists, physicianâs assistants, osteopathic physicians, and registered nurse practitioners are able to make such an EMC determination. Many medical providers who are not experienced or are just not interested in dealing with car accident victims do not know how or do not care to properly declare an EMC to trigger PIP car insurance benefits. If the medical provided failed to declare an EMC in the documented medical chart, the insurance company won’t pay full benefits and you will only be eligible for up to $2,500 in PIP benefits for medical expenses and treatment costs. In today’s dollars, that is not very much if you were rushed to the hospital and underwent a full work up of Ct scans, X-rays, or had to stay overnight. Your hospital bill will likely be much more than $2500.
Letters of protection. Besides PIP benefit eligibility, which your own insurance company might deny or fight, you need a car accident attorney in order to guide you to the right type of medical provider who will work up your injury on a letter of protection (LOP) if you do not have health insurance. Car accident attorneys will help find their injured clients doctors who will treat them or will perform surgery when the injured person does not have health insurance. These special medical providers will agree to not charge you any medical bills until your case is over and your attorney makes a money recovery for you. Doctors who will accept a letter of protection (LOP) will only work with patients who have a car accident lawyer handling their case. These doctors won’t accept your LOP unless they know there is the potential to be paid from the hard work of a personal injury car accident attorney.
Bodily injury and uninsured motorist protection. A car accident attorney will help you collect BI (bodily injury) or UM (uninsured motorist) insurance benefits for the accident to help pay or cover all of tour remaining medical bills. A car accident attorney will also pursue such insurance lost wages and for non-economic damages, also known as pain and suffering dollars for physical pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, scarring, and disfigurement. If you are injured in a car accident, in order to be able to get pain and suffering money, the injury must be permanent according to the car accident insurance laws. This is referred to as the permanency threshold which insurance companies always fight. It is important to hire a car accident lawyer to make sure the medical providers you go to understand these laws and are willing to properly diagnose the injury as permanent under the law and medial science. Many doctors do not understand this definition, or just do not care because they are not lawyers or advocates.
Car accidents are the most common type of personal injury and wrongful death cases in Florida. They are usually caused by to someone being negligent or reckless behind the wheel. Common allegations we see are improper lane changes, careless driving, reckless driving, failing to keep a proper look out, driving too fast for conditions, failing to perceive hazards, disobeying traffic signals and laws and driving under the influence.
The key to a good vehicle accident case is when the other person who is at fault or is mostly at fault for causing the accident and your permanent injury, has liability insurance to pursue. Unfortunately we are seeing more and more people in Florida driving around with very low insurance policy limits and sometimes no insurance at all. Many people who buy the bare minimum amount of insurance limits the law requires, think they are fully protected. That could not be farther from the truth. In Florida the minimum amount of insurance required is only $10,000 in PIP limits. This wonât even cover a couple days in a hospital, much less costs of suregries, ongoing treatment, lost wages and pain and suffering.
If the at-fault driver has no insurance or inadequate insurance, you may be able to pursue your own insurance policy benefits if you paid extra for uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM) protection. Again, most people think they are fully covered, but they usually do not have UM coverage because it is not required by law and costs more to have. Most people reject UM coverage when they initially apply for a policy.
Perkins Law Offices will help you understand the different insurance policies and benefits at play. We will find any and all coverage available or parties liable for the accident and have successfully obtained personal money from defendants over and above any insurance limits.
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Perkins Law Offices regularly helps people who are seriously injured in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, trucking accidents, bicycle accidents, scooter/moped accidents, vehicle on pedestrian accidents, drunk driving accidents, hit and runs, chain reaction collisions and motorcycle lay downs cases. Vehicle accidents can cause catastrophic, life altering injuries and death. But even smaller impact collisions can cause injures that interfere with your enjoyment of life.
Miami Car Accident Attorney. Below is a list of rules you should follow if you are in a car accident:
1. Call Police so a crash report will be filed.
2. Remember as much as you can about how the accident happened:
- The speeds of the vehicles.
- The lanes of travel the vehicles were in.
- The direction of travel of the vehicles.
- Where the impacts were
- What the other driver and witnesses said at the scene.
3. Take pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles and your injuries if you are not too injured to do so or immediately transported to the hospital.
4. Get names and contact info of any witnesses that may help prove your case.
5. Seek medical treatment immediately. Even if you do not have insurance or a regular doctor. Car Insurance companies will not take your injury case seriously if you do not get treatment immediately or if you have a gap in treatment dates. Even your own insurance company may not pay your own PIP benefits you don go to a hospital or doctor immediately.
6. Do not talk to anyone about the car accident or injuries other than your attorney or doctor after the accident other than police. You do not want to talk with an insurance adjuster or investigator, sometimes even from your own carrier because they are not there to help you. Make sure you talk to Perkins Law offices before speaking to anyone or giving any statements about the accident or your injuries.
7. Keep track of all of your damages such as medical bills, lost time and wages from work. Make sure you tell Perkinsâ injury lawyers every detail about your injuries and how the injuries effect your life.
Miami Car Accident Attorney. The few minutes after a car crash can literally make the difference between winning or losing your case, even when the accident is not your fault. Our Miami car accident law firm recommends that everybody, whether driving or riding a passenger, always wears oneâs seatbelt, no matter how far you are driving. It can be a critical mistake to think people do not need to wear a seatbelt if they are just driving around the corner. Studies have proven that a person has a 400% greater chance of surviving an accident if they are properly seat belted.
8. Disclose to Perkins Law Offices about any prior accidents, lawsuits, claims or other personal things that may affect your case. Do not worry, everything you say to Perkins Law Offices is confidential and protected by the attorney client privilege.
Who pays for medical bills in a car accident in Florida?