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Florida’s new motor vehicle no fault law takes effect this month. What do you need to know? Plenty. In the past, every Florida family automobile insurance policy had to provide $ 10,000 in personal injury protection benefits to cover the majority of the policy holder’s wage loss and medical expenses incurred as a result of an accident, or at least up to the $ 10,000 policy limits. The new law makes drastic changes to that coverage. The $ 10,000 in PIP benefits is only available once there is a showing by a medical doctor, osteopath, dentist, physician’s assistant, or registered nurse practitioner, that injuries sustained in the accident required “immediate medical attention.” This is defined such that the absence of immediate medical attention would result in serious jeopardy to health, serious impairment of bodily functions, or serious dysfunction of bodily organs or parts. What’s more, the finding that this “emergency medical condition” existed must be made within the first 14 days after the accident. If no “emergency medical condition” is found to exist, the PIP benefits are reduced to $ 2,500, rather than $ 10,000. If no evaluation is sought within the first two weeks, then the $ 10,000 in PIP benefits is waived and NO BENEFITS ARE AVAILABLE AT ALL!
The moral to this story? If you are in an accident, you need to go get evaluated by a physician within the first 14 days after your accident if you even suspect you may be injured. If you don’t, and your soreness doesn’t go away, and you wait until the 15th day to seek medical help, you have no PIP benefits no matter how long your have been insured under your policy or how much you paid for the coverage. Don’t take any chances. If you are involved in an accident, go get evaluated in the first two weeks by a medical doctor, an osteopath, a dentist, a physician’s assistant, or a registered nurse practitioner. Better yet, call an attorney and make sure you get evaluated at the proper time by an appropriate medical professional to be sure you haven’t waived valuable insurance benefits.