Stuart, FL, August 11, 2012 –Florida car accident lawyer Philip DeBerard, III, said today that drivers in the Sunshine State need to be aware of a new statute that puts time and money restrictions on personal injury claims following a car wreck.
“Changes to Florida’s PIP auto insurance coverage laws require people who suffer personal injury in a car accident to obtain medical treatment quickly and seeks to cap the monetary amount of most claims for damages at $2,500,” said DeBerard, founder of the South Florida personal injury firm, Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney.
“The law requires people who deserve help to act quickly and to meet restrictions they may be unaware of, or they may give up their rights,” he said.
Changes adopted this year to state statutes defining PIP, or personal injury protection, auto insurance coverage say that people injured in car crashes must seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident to be eligible to file a claim.
The law also now limits PIP claim payments to $2,500—unless a doctor, osteopathic physician, dentist, supervised physician’s assistant or advanced registered nurse practitioner states that the patient suffered an “emergency medical condition.”
The changes to PIP coverage specifically exclude chiropractors from those who may diagnose an “emergency medical condition,” and it excludes claim payments to cover costs for acupuncture or massage therapy after an accident.
PIP car insurance is meant to ensure that people injured in Florida car accidents can obtain money for medical expenses in a timely manner, DeBerard said. Florida has required motorists to obtain PIP coverage since 1972.
State officials hope the new PIP restrictions will curb fraudulent claims that proponents claim are largely responsible for a $1.4 billion increase in PIP costs since 2008, according to the Miami Herald.
“The best way to deal with the new law is to get medical help right away anytime you are in a car accident,” DeBerard said. “Sometimes, an injury doesn’t seem to be severe enough to warrant medical attention at first—but waiting to see a doctor is now a potentially costly mistake.”
DeBerard’s firm assists clients in South Florida and the Treasure Coast in obtaining payment for personal injury or wrongful deaths in car accidents through negotiations with insurance companies or lawsuits. The veteran Stuart personal injury lawyer said anyone involved in a car accident should take advantages of an experienced car accident attorney’s free initial consultation.
“As car accident attorneys, we keep up with changes in Florida law that impact car insurance claims, including PIP claims,” DeBerard said. “Our firm believes it’s important for car accident victims to have a lawyer review their case make sure they are taking the proper steps to protect their rights to a proper settlement or other compensation.”
About Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney
The law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, has provided professional and compassionate legal assistance to personal injury and accident victims in South Florida on the Treasure Coast since 1975. The firm’s practice areas include car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, product liability, dog bite injuries, swimming pool accidents, slip and fall injuries, medical malpractice, and wrongful death claims.
The firm represents clients throughout the South Florida communities of Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Jupiter, Stuart, Okeechobee, Vero Beach, Palm Beach and across the state of Florida. The firm’s office is located 215 Southwest Federal Hwy., Ste. 300, Stuart, FL 34994 (local phone (772) 286-1000). For more information, call (800) 299-8878 or use the firm’sonline contact form.