Florida’s New PIP Insurance Law- Florida Legislature Passes Amendment to Section 627.736, the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Law

Primarily effective January 1, 2013 (some parts are effective earlier), Florida’s new PIP insurance law, section 627.736, will change due to amendment.  The old law allowed up to $10,000 in personal injury protection benefits, including the payment of up to 80% of medical bills (that were reasonable, related and necessary) and 60% of lost wages.  Florida’s new PIP insurance law now provides that in order to get up to the $10,000 in PIP benefits, there must be a determination by a medical physician, osteopathic physician, dentist,  physician’s assistant or registered nurse practitioner, depicting an “emergency medical condition.”  An emergency medical condition is defined under section 627.732(16) as a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, which may include severe pain, such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in any of the following:

(a) Serious jeopardy to patient health.

(b) Serious impairment to bodily functions.

(c) Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.

Of note, Florida’s new PIP insurance law requires a finding of an emergency medical condition within fourteen days of the date of accident, or else the PIP benefits are restricted to $2,500. Moreover, if no treatment is received within fourteen days, it appears that personal injury protection benefits are not required to be paid.

Finally, massage therapists and acupuncturists are no longer covered by PIP.

It will be interesting to see how courts will interpret Florida’s new PIP insurance law and the litigation Florida PIP lawyers will be required to bring over differences in interpretation.

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