Florida Legislature Says Car Accident Victims Must Still Have PIP

You can file this one as more news than my opinion, this afternoon the Florida Legislature passed a new version of the so called “PIP,” personal injury protection law, which will apply to all Florida drivers and car accident victims effective January 1, 2008. As everyone, particularly in Miami, Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale, which was the focus of complaints regarding alleged fraud, are probably aware, the PIP law “sunset” on October 1, 2007.

The new law provides many of the same provisions previously mandated in Florida. Apparently, the most important differences include a medical fee schedule which will limit most medical providers reimbursements to 200% of Medicare’s reimbursement rate; and a require $5,000.00 of the medical benefits be initially reserved for hospitals and their doctors who treat injured car accident victims.

Of course, due to the fact that from October 1, 2007, through January 1, 2008, there will be no PIP, anyone suffering a personal injuries in a car accident during that time will be entitled to pursue their claims under a strict tort system. Rather than being limited to the “no fault” threshold, apparently those injured car accident victims will not have to prove they sustained a permanent injury. As we already have a number of such injured clients, it will certainly be interesting to see how the courts will handle those who fall into this new category.

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