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Navigating the PIP Process After a Florida Motor Vehicle Accident

When someone is in a motor vehicle accident it can be overwhelming: accident reports, vehicle repairs, calls to the insurance company, vehicle rentals, doctor’s appointments and sometimes missed time from work. The bills and expenses from the accident start to add up quickly.

Often times he or she will forego follow up medical treatment for the injuries sustained as a result of the motor vehicle accident because he or she believes that they cannot afford to pay for them out of pocket.  In Florida, as long as you have a current auto insurance policy, your medical bills, perhaps at least up to the first $10,000.00, will be covered under what is called P.I.P. – Personal Injury Protection.

Florida PIP Insurance Law

State laws in Florida govern the personal injury protection rules for drivers.  A person may have his or her medical expenses and lost wages covered under P.I.P.  It is important to note that the payment of P.I.P. benefits does not in any way indicate fault for the accident.  P.I.P. payments are considered no-fault benefits.  For example, in the event of a multiple vehicle accident, people in each vehicle, providing the vehicle had auto insurance, would be entitled to P.I.P. benefits under that vehicle’s policy.

Navigating the P.I.P. process can be tricky and confusing because there are a lot of forms to be completed. While all the forms request the same information, how they look vary from insurance company to insurance company.  Each claimant must complete his or her own set of forms.  The basic information requires the name, address, date of birth of the claimant.  The claimant will also be asked to provide a description of the accident, his or her injuries, treatment, if there are any lost wages and if so, information concerning employment.  Additional forms include medical authorizations, treating physician forms and lost wage forms.

Legal Help Needed

A person seeking to claim P.I.P. benefits must notify the insurance company as soon as practical after the motor vehicle accident.  This is a case where sooner is better.  In any event, a claim for P.I.P. benefits must be presented within two years of the date of the motor vehicle accident.  Failure to do so will result in a denial of the claim.  Throughout the process you may be asked by the insurance company to supplement information and even submit to a medical examination with a physician of their choosing.  Failure to comply with any of the requests could potentially jeopardize any additional benefits being paid.

The P.I.P. portion of a motor vehicle accident can be difficult and confusing to navigate at a time when you are dealing with a number of other things related to the motor vehicle accident.  Many of the forms have time-sensitive deadlines.  The Personal Injury Protection portion of the claim is only one part of the claim.  To ensure that you do not miss any deadlines and that you fully understand the process, it is important to contact an attorney to help guide you through the claim.

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Meet Atty. Rafael Gonzalez

Attorney Rafael A. Gonzalez received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law. 

While at the University of Miami, Mr. Gonzalez earned a judicial clerk position with the Honorable Judge Shelley Kravitz of the County Court House for Miami Dade County and took part in one of the largest product liability litigation cases in the United States. The case, Engle v Liggett, was against tobacco companies and resulted in a 145 billion dollar award to the plaintiffs. 

Mr. Gonzalez earned his stripes working with firms in Downtown Miami and Hialeah, Florida as a civil attorney. In 2010, Mr. Gonzalez joined forces with other civil litigators as a partner in the law firm of Freeman, Mallard, Sharp and Gonzalez specializing in motor vehicle accidents.

Read more about him here.
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