Melbourne Personal Injury Protection Lawyer (PIP)
Auto accidents are sadly an everyday occurrence here in Florida. By some estimates there are nearly 200,000 accidents annually in the Sunshine State. Thankfully, most of those accidents do not result in death or serious injury, but even a seemingly minor “fender bender” can incur a hefty bill for medical treatment and car repairs.
Florida has a unique “no-fault” insurance system designed to compensate most accident victims for their out-of-pocket losses. The rules governing this system is often confusing for policyholders and their families. An experienced Melbourne personal injury protection (PIP) lawyer can advise you of your rights and responsibilities in this area. At the Pendas Law Firm, we are dedicated personal injury lawyers with a proven track record of helping Brevard County residents obtain the compensation they are entitled to under the law following a car accident.
How Do PIP Benefits Actually Work?
Anyone who registers a four-wheel motor vehicle in Florida must carry a minimum amount of personal injury protection as part of their auto insurance coverage. PIP benefits form the core of Florida’s no-fault insurance system. The term “no-fault” means that if you are involved in an accident with another vehicle, you typically need to turn to your own PIP coverage first for compensation even if the other driver’s negligence caused or contributed to the underlying accident.
PIP benefits cover the policyholder as well as their children and other household members. They also cover other passengers in a covered vehicle if they do not not own their own vehicle and therefore are not required to have PIP coverage. Conversely, if you have PIP coverage, you are protected if you are injured in an accident while riding in someone else’s car, and even if you are struck by a car while walking or riding a bicycle.
Unfortunately, personal injury protection does not provide 100 percent compensation for your injuries. Under Florida law, a person filing a PIP claim can only receive the following:
- 80 percent of reasonable medical expenses, up to $10,000;
- 60 percent of lost income resulting from the accident and associated injuries, up to $10,000;
- if a covered person is killed in the accident, a death benefit of $5,000 to cover funeral and burial expenses.
Keep in mind that many PIP policies also contain a deductible, which can be as high as $1,000. Florida law further mandates that if you wish to collect medical benefits under personal injury protection, you must receive medical treatment within 14 days of the accident.
Contact The Pendas Law Firm Today
While personal injury protection benefits provide limited no-fault coverage for all accidents, there are situations where a victim sustains more serious injuries that can justify filing a legal claim against the at-fault driver. Under the Florida PIP law, an accident victim must have a “serious” injury to step outside the no-fault system. This includes injuries that result in the significant and permanent loss of a bodily function as well as scarring and disfigurement.
A skilled Melbourne personal injury protection lawyer can review your case and advise you if you are eligible to seek benefits beyond what your own policy allows. Contact the Pendas Law Firm today to schedule an initial consultation.