Legislators consider changing personal injury protection law
Florida is among 10 U.S. states that have no-fault insurance systems. In a nutshell, people who are injured in accidents must file claims with their own insurance companies first, regardless of which drivers were at fault in causing the accidents.
Recently, the Florida state legislature has been considering a bill that would change the state’s requirement for personal injury protection in favor of bodily liability, and the state’s house of representatives passed a bill that would repeal and replace the PIP mandate all together.
What is PIP coverage?
Personal injury protection (PIP) is a mandatory coverage that provides up to $10,000 for injuries that people suffer in accidents in Florida. People who are injured file claims first with their own insurance companies. Their medical bills that result from their accidents are paid by their companies up to $10,000. The PIP mandate is meant to reduce the number of cases being filed in court, but it has resulted in other problems.
Problems with the PIP mandate
There has been a substantial uptick in claims that have been filed against PIP coverage, leading to concerns about potentially fraudulent claims. Another major problem is that $10,000 is simply insufficient to cover many injuries that people suffer in motor vehicle accidents, leading to people filing personal injury lawsuits despite having received PIP coverage. The number of claims has also driven up insurance rates, prompting lawmakers to act.
What the bill would do
If the bill passes the senate and is signed into law, it will change the system from a PIP-based system to a bodily injury system. Bodily injury coverage is designed to pay for the costs associated with injuries to the other person or people involved in an accident. This coverage also provides for a legal defense should someone decide to sue you. This system would dictate that injured people file claims against the insurance policies of the other drivers instead of against their own policies.
Under the senate bill, the minimum bodily injury insurance coverage would be $25,000 for one person or $50,000 for more than one injured victim. Legislators believe that changing the requirements away from PIP coverage to bodily liability coverage would help decrease auto insurance rates because people would not file claims with their own companies, and the companies would not be required to pay for their insureds’ injuries regardless of fault.
Status of the bill
The pending bill is not yet law, meaning that the PIP requirement is still in place. A senate bill was recently passed by a senate committee, but it differs from the house’s bill because it requires both bodily injury coverage and medical payments coverage (Med-pay). The senate’s bill and the house’s bill will have to go through reconciliation before it might become law.
We’re here to answer your questions
If you have been injured in an auto accident in Florida that was caused by the negligence of another person, you should contact an experienced accident attorney right away. The attorneys at David & Philpot, P.L. provide a no cost consultation about your case with no obligation. If we represent you in a personal injury claim you pay nothing until we make a recovery. Contact us today at 800 360-7015.