Personal Injury Protection News

Fort Worth lawyers and those in Saginaw, Lake Worth, Benbrook, Keller, Wylie, and other places in Tarrant County would need to keep up with news related to Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance benefits.
The Orlando Sentinel ran a story on Ocotber 1, 2012, that briefly discussed PIP in Florida. The article tells us that a group of chiropractors, massage therapists and acupuncturists have sued the state over a new personal injury protection law that lawmakers heralded as key to reducing auto insurance rates in Florida.
The lawsuit says that the new PIP law, passed this spring, “imposes sweeping changes and significant restrictions on both health care providers and consumers.”
The law, passed this March, made a number of changes to the state’s no-fault accident system, which pays up to $10,000 in medical care in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Now, accident victims must seek treatment in 14 days. They are banned from seeking acupuncture or massage therapy, and chiropractors can only receive $2,500 for treating patients, unless they can get it classified as an emergency medical condition.
Gov. Rick Scott, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and lawmakers pushed the bill through during the final days of the legislative session and promised that it would bring down rates. However, that may or may not happen.
October 1, is the deadline for insurers to file with the state what they will be charging customers. Under the changes, part of which became law in July, insurers are required to reduce rates by 10 percent by October 1, or explain why they cannot do so.
Insurers have expressed doubts that the reduction would be achieved so quickly.
PIP is a coverage that is available on all auto insurance policies in the State of Texas. The Texas Insurance Code, Sections 1952.151 thru 1952.161 is where the laws are found dealing with PIP in Texas. The minimum amount required to be on all policies sold in Texas is $2,500. There is no maximum that is prescribed by law.
The majority of drivers in Texas reject PIP coverage. However, it is important to note that a rejection of PIP coverage must be in writing. One estimate says that only about 10% of drivers opt to get this coverage on their auto. A vast majority of those who have PIP only have the minimal amount of $2,500.
Probably the biggest reason people reject PIP coverage is that the cost of this coverage is high compared to lots of other types of coverage. One reason PIP coverage is high is that any amounts paid under PIP cannot be recovered from responsible third parties by means of subrogation.
PIP covers reasonable and necessary medical expenses up to the limits of the coverage and it pays up to 80% of lost wages.
An option to PIP coverage is “medical payments coverage,” also know as “med-pay.” Med-pay is a much cheaper alternative to PIP for two reasons. One is that med-pay does not cover lost wages. The other reason is that med-pay can be subrogated. In other words, with med-pay, an insurance carrier has the chance to recover monies it pays out in coverage by subrogation against responsible third parties.
There are many things to be aware of from a legal standpoint when making claims for benefits related to PIP and med-pay. An experienced Insurance Law Attorney would know these issues and be able to discuss them with someone who finds themselves in a position of being able to taking advantage of these benefits.

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