Some of our readers may know that the Florida Personal Injury Protection (PIP) law was amended in 2013. There were a number of changes to the statute but, arguably, the change that most impacted insureds across the State is the requirement that individuals claiming PIP benefits must receive treatment within 14 days after the motor vehicle accident.
The previous PIP law had no such requirement. An insured could theoretically receive PIP benefits for treatment initiated at any time after the occurrence motor vehicle accident. The insurance company would likely dispute the “relatedness” of the treatment to the motor vehicle accident, however there was no such time limitation on when an insured had to begin treating.
The 2013 PIP law requires an individual claiming PIP benefits to “receive initial services and care” within “14 days after the motor vehicle accident.”
“Initial services and care” is defined as services and care that are lawfully provided, supervised, ordered, or prescribed by any of the following health care providers:
1. A medical doctor, commonly referred to as an M.D., licensed under Chapter 458 of the Florida Statutes;
2. A doctor of osteopathy, commonly referred to as a D.O., licensed under Chapter 459 of the Florida Statutes;
3. A dentist licensed under Chapter 466 of the Florida Statutes;
4. A chiropractor, commonly referred to as a D.C., licensed under Chapter 460 of the Florida Statutes;
5. A person or entity licensed under Part III of Chapter 401 of the Florida Statutes (an emergency medical technician, commonly referred to as an “EMT”) that provides emergency transportation and treatment.
Thus, in order to qualify for PIP benefits, you must treat within 14 days after the motor vehicle accident with any of the five enumerated providers listed above. Therefore, going to your masseuse, your acupuncturist or your physical therapist within 14 days after your accident will not by itself qualify you for PIP benefits under the 2013 PIP law.
No Fault insurance is mandatory in this State – you are required by law to purchase it, therefore it’s important to know what’s required of you to take advantage of it in the event you need it.
Being involved in a motor vehicle accident is stressful. Dealing with insurance companies and unfamiliar, complicated laws and insurance policies is intimidating. If you need help navigating these unfamiliar waters, then contact Pacin Levine, P.A. at (888) 450-4909.