A number of new reforms have been made recently to Florida car insurance laws. Some of those changes will affect Personal Insurance Protection (PIP), changing which medical professionals can offer medical care and diagnosis for car accident victims and potentially changing how much PIP money car accident victims can receive. The changes have been made to reduce insurance fraud in the state, which is currently very high.
Another important change to Florida’s insurance laws has to do with the lawsuits filed after a Miami car accident or any Florida car accident. In many cases, these lawsuits are filed because medical practitioners and insurance carriers cannot agree on the amount of money doctors are owed for a patient’s care.
The changes to the law consider the Medicare fee schedule when outlining how some medical costs should be tabulated. In addition, the new law allows insurance carriers investigate possible insurance fraud to examine victims under oath. The changes also no longer allows judges to dramatically raise the fees awarded to attorneys representing plaintiffs.
Legislators claim that the changes address some of the disagreements which cause lawsuits and claim that the changes could prevent lawsuits. However, other experts claim that the changes will only create new issues of disagreement and may actually lead to more legal action. The Florida Justice Association predicts that the changes to PIP will actually increase the number of lawsuits after car accidents. The agency notes that the new “emergency medical condition” definition is especially likely to cause disputes. That change allows only certain medical practitioners to determine whether a traffic accident victim’s injuries are an “emergency medical condition” or not. Those patients with an “emergency medical condition” will qualify for the full $10 000 in medical benefits while others will get only $2500 in PIP benefits. According to the Florida Justice Association and some Miami personal injury attorneys, the disparity between benefits as well as the new definition will likely lead to legal disagreements in cases where a victim may have been misdiagnosed. Currently, there is no list of injuries deemed emergency medical conditions, and it is likely that Florida judges will eventually determine this over the course of many cases.
Legislators claim that they need to reduce the number of lawsuits related to PIP because these legal actions increased insurance costs and also slow down the claims process. Lawmakers also hope that the changes will reduce insurance fraud in the state.
The new laws will mean that victims who are injured in Miami car accidents may get less in PIP benefits than they might have received a few years ago. This may make contacting a personal injury attorney after a Miami traffic accident more important than ever before. Car accident victims who have sustained an injury due to someone’s recklessness or negligence will still be able to pursue legal action, and this action may be more important than ever before to ensure that victims are compensated for medical costs, lost income, and other expenses related to their injuries.
If you have been injured in a Miami car accident, contact the Flaxman Law Group to discuss your case with a member of our legal team. The initial consultation costs nothing and comes with no obligation, but lets you ask questions so that you can make an informed decision about your case.