"Whether it's a whiplash, serious injury or wrongful death case, we pride ourselves on representing you with the personal service and aggressive representation that you expect and deserve!" -Attorney Ron Sholes
Personal Injury Protection
If you’re a Florida driver, you may have heard of Florida’s 14-day PIP rule.
While the 14-day PIP rule has nothing to do with your ability to pursue damages against an at fault driver, it can help offset your economic damages. Under Florida’s no-fault system, you have 2 weeks to seek medical attention after a car accident. The 14-day time period is a requirement to obtain the full $10,000 in “no-fault” benefits under your own personal injury protection, or PIP, insurance. Georgia provides PIP under limited circumstances.
While PIP is important, it is important to understand that PIP only provides for a portion of basic economic losses and expenses immediately following your accident, and is not meant to cover all of your damages.
At the Law Offices of Ron Sholes, P.A., we are well-versed in personal injury claims in Florida and Georgia. Our attorneys can help you understand your options after a motor vehicle collision and also guide you through the personal injury protection (PIP) process, whether you are filing an initial claim, are having trouble getting your claim paid, or have had your claim denied by your insurance provider. We understand the urgency of your situation and the importance of working together to protect your rights and maximize your claim.
What Is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance?
PIP is a type of no-fault insurance that allows injured individuals to seek financial recovery, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. In some states, such as Florida, PIP coverage is mandatory; in other states, like Georgia, it may be an option, such as if you travel to Florida for employment.
In no-fault states, like Florida, injured motorists must go outside the no-fault system to recover compensation for damages that are not covered by PIP insurance. Let’s face it, PIP usually covers just a fraction of the damages that someone suffers when they are injured.
Injuries sustained in auto accidents often result in an acceleration of degeneration, especially spine-related injuries. These injuries can become debilitating, often requiring pain management or surgical intervention. The cost of ongoing medical treatment for permanent injuries can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of someone’s life and the value of your non-economic damages can be just as much, or even greater.
This is where our team of personal injury attorneys comes in and demands fair and just compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. Remember, while PIP is important, it only provides for a portion of basic economic losses and expenses immediately following your accident and is not meant to cover all of your damages.
What Is the 14-Day PIP Rule in Florida?
Florida’s 14-day rule states that if you are involved in an accident, you must seek medical attention within 14 days following the accident to obtain their car insurance no-fault benefits. If you do not get the proper medical attention within two weeks, your PIP Insurance claim may be denied.
Florida has several unique rules when it comes to personal injury protection. Notably, PIP insurance in Florida only covers certain percentages of your damages. For example, it only covers up to 80% of your medical expenses and 60% of your lost wages up to a $10,000 limit. PIP does not cover any non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, in Florida.
In Florida, your mandatory PIP insurance covers the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Economic benefits
- Death benefits
Your PIP claim will only be accepted if you receive medical treatment for your injuries within two weeks of the accident. Because Florida has an exceptionally high rate of fraudulent insurance claims, your insurance provider has up to 60 days to review your claim. However, it must begin payments within 30 days, regardless of whether or not it deems your claim “suspicious.”
Why Is the 14-Day Rule Observed?
Insurance companies uphold the 14-day rule for a variety of reasons. First, waiting to get medical attention can make an injury worse. The sooner you get medical evaluation the better your chances are at minimizing your injuries and preventing further complications.
Second, proving that your injuries are linked to the accident is a critical part of making an insurance claim. When you get medical treatment right away, the link is clear.
The 14-day rule exists to help car accident victims get the treatment they need before condition worsens, and to ensure that accident claims are valid and accurate.
Get Qualified Medical Care
To receive PIP benefits following an accidents, you must seek medical services and care from a qualified health provider. Qualified providers include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Medical Doctor
- Hospital Services
- First Responders / ER (including transport and treatment)
Depending on the severity of the accident, it is recommended that the first responder at the accident scene is utilized for an initial observation, and that a copy of their initial report is requested for your records.
As long as you are seen within 14 days of the accident, your medical provider will bill your PIP insurance and the bills should be reimbursed directly to your doctor’s office.
Georgia PIP Insurance
In Georgia, personal injury protection coverage is not mandatory. However, you do have the option of purchasing PIP insurance—and it may be a good idea to do so. After most motor vehicle accidents in Georgia, the injured party can bring a claim against the other driver as long as the injured individual was less than 50% at fault for the accident. However, because the state operates under a fault-based system, the injured individual will need to prove that the other driver caused the accident and, therefore, their injuries and damages.
If you elect to have PIP coverage in addition to your minimum liability coverage, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance provider and receive compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and other economic damages, regardless of fault. In fact, PIP insurance can allow you to recover damages if the liable insurance company argues that you were more than 50% to blame for the accident.
How Our PI Attorneys Can Help
While filing a personal injury protection claim may seem fairly straightforward, it is not uncommon for accident victims to experience challenges in recovering rightful compensation. Remember, insurance companies are businesses and, like any other business, their primary goal is making money. They often devalue, dispute, or deny claims in an effort to reduce payouts and improve profits. Even your own insurance provider is not on your side after a serious accident. At the Law Offices of Ron Sholes, P.A., we help our clients navigate the PIP process.
Speak to an Attorney at Our Firm Today
If you need help with your personal injury protection claim, or if you are dealing with any challenges in recovering compensation after an auto accident or motor vehicle collision, reach out to the Law Offices of Ron Sholes, P.A. today. We answer our phones 24/7, and you will always be connected with a real person when you call. There are no fees unless we recover compensation for you!