Florida has a new personal injury protection (PIP) law this year. Although the law is designed to help combat insurance fraud, which has been a problem in the state for years, some doctors and personal injury attorneys have stated publicly that the law may keep some deserving personal injury victims from getting the insurance money they deserve after an accident. To ensure that you are covered after an accident, make sure that you:
1) Read your insurance policies carefully. There have been a number of disturbing news stories in recent months describing insurance clients who have paid insurance premiums for years but have then had their insurance claims denied because of poor credit. Make sure that you understand your policy and when your claim may be rejected. If you do not understand your policy or the terms used in your agreement, contact your insurance carrier and ask them to explain the policy and specific terms to you in simpler language. Compare different policies from different insurance carriers – you may find that another insurance company with similar rates offers you a better deal because they have fewer restrictions.
2) If you are injured in a traffic accident in Fort Lauderdale or anywhere in South Florida, seek medical help at once. Under new PIP rules, you have fourteen days to seek medical help. If you have minor symptoms that become more severe you may not qualify for any insurance if you wait longer than fourteen days for an initial evaluation. This is troubling, since many types of injuries – including soft tissue injuries – may not show symptoms right away. One of the first things you will want to do after an accident is to visit a doctor. Some brain injury patients in Fort Lauderdale and Florida do not experience any symptoms initially, even with potentially life-threatening head injuries. Seeing a doctor immediately after your accident ensures your safety and ensures that you start documentation in case you do need to make an insurance claim later on.
3) Carry the right amount of insurance. By law, Florida requires you to carry at least $10 000 of PIP insurance as a driver. This is the law even though in most cases you will qualify for only $2500 unless your injuries are severe. It is best to carry more insurance than you think you need rather than risk being under-insured.
4) If you sustain a personal injury in Fort Lauderdale or anywhere in South Florida, speak with a personal injury attorney before accepting any insurance money. An attorney can help you sort out the likely total costs of your injuries, can help you understand your options and may even be able to negotiate with your carrier if your insurance company wants to deny your claim.
If you have been injured in South Florida, it is crucial to understand that you have options available to you. To find out what those options are and to understand what your next steps might be, contact the Flaxman Law Group to discuss your situation with a personal injury attorney. Charles Flaxman of the Flaxman Law Group worked in the insurance industry for ten years before dedicating his life to helping personal injury victims in South Florida. His unique perspective from both sides of the courtroom allows him to be a powerful advocate on behalf of injured parties who are negotiating with insurance carriers. Your initial consultation with the Flaxman Law Group is absolutely free and comes with no obligation.