In the aftermath of a car accident, you’ll want to get the medical care needed for any injuries you sustained. One of the last things anyone wants to worry about is how they will pay for medical bills.
Another question surrounding who pays the medical bills is whether the person who caused the accident is liable for any damages.
In the state of Florida, the majority of medical bills after a car accident should be covered through personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This guide will help you better understand who pays the medical bills after a car accident in Florida, how PIP coverage works, and how an experienced personal injury lawyer can help ensure you receive any and all medical coverage you are entitled to.
How are Medical Bills Paid After a Car Accident?
People will usually use their personal health insurance or pay out of pocket for most medical expenses unrelated to car accidents. For car accidents, auto insurance carriers offer PIP coverage for any injuries or medical issues sustained due to the collision. If there is no car insurance coverage, parties must use health insurance or pay out of pocket.
Traditionally, if the accident was another party’s fault, an injured person could also file a lawsuit against the other driver. However, the purpose of so-called “no-fault” laws in states like Florida is to limit the number of personal injury lawsuits by ensuring all drivers have adequate medical coverage in the event of an accident.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance and No-Fault Laws Explained
PIP insurance is a specific type of coverage in an automobile insurance policy. This type of insurance provides payment for reasonable medical bills incurred after a car accident. The limit for this insurance varies depending on individual carriers, policies, and state laws.
A no-fault law is a legal statute that requires every motorist in a state to purchase a certain amount of PIP insurance that will cover medical bills after an accident, regardless of who is found to be at fault. Under Florida law, statute 627.736 requires every driver in Florida to have $10,000 of PIP insurance to cover up to 80% of all medical bills after an accident.
Types of Care Covered Under PIP Insurance
The $10,000 in PIP insurance will cover medical bills after a car accident in Florida for injuries requiring care from a general practitioner or follow-up care from a specialist. This includes:
- Ambulance rides
- Diagnostic testing such as X-rays or MRI
- Physician visits and examinations
- Hospital stays
- Prescription medication
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
PIP insurance will also pay for 60% of all lost wages if the injury causes disability and missed time from work. Additionally, PIP coverage in Florida requires $5,000 in death benefits in the event of an accident-related fatality.
Under Florida law, PIP insurance does not require coverage of bodily injury liability for anyone else injured as a result of the accident. It also does not cover liability for property damage.
PIP Claim Process
PIP claims must be made within 14 days to pay medical bills after a car accident in Florida. The insurance company has 60 days to investigate the claim and 30 days to provide compensation for any medical bills.
If you have been in an accident, it is critical to notify the police and your insurance company to make a claim immediately after you have determined you are safe and have removed your vehicle from the flow of traffic. Get the names and contact information of the other party and any witnesses at the scene. Take pictures of the accident for documentation.
If medical responders are not called to the scene, and you do not require emergency care, get checked out by a physician or qualified medical provider as soon as possible after the accident. This is critical to establishing a medical record of your injuries when you make a PIP claim.
Upon diagnosis of an injury related to the accident, immediately report the injury to your insurance carrier to file a PIP claim. Record all documentation and medical expenses you incur during this time. If you miss work due to the injury, your employer will be required to fill out a wage verification form, and you may need a note from the doctor detailing the injury.
How a Lawyer Can Help You Get the Medical Compensation You Deserve
The time after a car accident can be trying and stressful, especially if you have been injured. There are a long list of reasons why it can be helpful to have an experienced, knowledgeable attorney in your corner fighting for you.
Attorneys know how to navigate the often complex world of insurance and PIP coverage to ensure you get the money you are entitled to after an accident and in a timely fashion. Your lawyer can also help work with your employer and medical providers to ensure they provide all documentation your insurance carrier needs within the appropriate time frame.
PIP coverage is only sometimes adequate to cover all your medical bills after an accident in Florida. Although Florida is a no-fault state, there is still a right to sue if negligence or reckless injuries result in serious injury or property damage that your insurance is not covering. Your lawyer can work with you to ensure you get the compensation you need to be made whole and move on with your life while protecting your legal rights and assets.
Contact Clark Law Car Accident Attorneys Today if You Have Been in an Accident
If you have been injured in a car accident in the Tampa Bay area, you should meet with an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you protect your rights. Contact Clark Law today for a free consultation on your case. We are an experienced and knowledgeable legal team ready to fight for your legal rights and help you receive the compensation you deserve under Florida’s no-fault law.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.