PERSONAL INJURY

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

PERSONAL INJURY

Which party’s insurance company is liable for, and billed, when I am involved in a motor vehicle accident?


The responsibility for the property damage to your vehicle is typically handled by the at-fault party’s insurance company, assuming they have insurance coverage in place. Regarding your bodily injury claim, your own insurance company is initially responsible, through your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, with the 20% portion of the medical bills being the at-fault party’s responsibility. If the at-fault party has no insurance, or inadequate insurance, then your own insurance company may step in to cover these expenses completely.




When I get medical treatment following the accident, who pays for the medical care?


When involved in a motor vehicle accident in Florida, the initial medical care is billed to, and paid by, your own insurance company under your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. Your PIP insurance will pay 80% of the reasonable and customary medical bills, with the remaining 20% being the responsibility of the at-fault party. The 80% portion of the medical bills paid by the PIP carrier is also subject to the deductible you selected under your PIP insurance (if appropriate).




Why is my automobile insurance company getting billed for my medical care, when I was not at-fault in causing the accident?


Florida is a “No-Fault” state, and the law requires that the initial medical care to treat your injuries be paid by your automobile insurance carrier first, on a percentage basis. Be aware that there are also types of damages you sustained and are entitled to be compensated for, that are not covered by your own insurance, but are the responsibility of the at-fault party’s insurance company.




How many days after my motor vehicle accident can I wait before I get treatment?


Under Florida law, you must get treatment within 14 days of the date of accident, or you will lose the right to the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits from your auto insurance carrier.




Why is my automobile insurance company not paying all the medical bills?


Even though your initial medical care is paid by your automobile insurance carrier initially through your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, your PIP insurance is only responsible for 80% of the medical bills, subject to a deductible you may have selected.




Why is the insurance company for the at-fault party not paying my medical bills now?


The initial responsibility for your medical bills is your own insurance carrier, through the PIP coverage. The 20% of your medical bills not paid by PIP insurance, as well as all the other medical bills that are not paid by the PIP carrier are ultimately the responsibility of the at-fault party and their insurance company, but they do not pay the bills at the time they are incurred. Your attorney will get with the at-fault party’s insurance company to hold them responsible for their portion of the medical bills, and the other damages, at the time the parties enter into settlement discussions/negotiations.




If I have $10,000.00 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, why is my insurance company only paying $2,500.00 on the medical bills?


If the doctors you have treated with since the accident have not addressed, in writing, whether you have an “Emergency Medical Condition”, then under the law your PIP insurance carrier only has to cover $2,500.00 in medical bills, instead of the entire $10,000.00 in coverage normally available.




I was told I have “full coverage”, what does that mean?


Unfortunately, in most situations that is a misleading description, and probably only means that you purchased the minimum amount of coverage to comply with Florida law. If you only purchased the mandatory coverage required under the law, it would not cover many aspects of your damages, especially if the at-fault party did not have any insurance coverage, or inadequate limits of insurance coverage. If you have any questions regarding the types and amount of coverage you should purchase, please call us at Davis, Broussard & Steger, PLLC. to discuss this with you in more detail.




If I have multiple vehicles insured under the same automobile insurance policy, how does the coverage apply?


If you are insuring multiple vehicles within the same policy, for certain types of coverage you have the option of “stacking” your coverages together, meaning the coverage amounts on each vehicle are added together to determine total insurance coverage available.




If I was involved in a motorcycle accident, are those injuries also covered by my automobile insurance?


Some portions of your medical bills and damages are covered, while others are not. Your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage does not apply to motorcycle accidents, but other portions of your motor vehicle insurance, if purchased, will apply. Consult with your legal representative for the specific answers to your situation.




Should my doctors and medical providers bill my health insurance, when the treatment is for injuries stemming from the motor vehicle accident?


Yes, even though your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is the primary payment source for your medical bills, your health insurance can be a secondary source of payment for the portion not covered by PIP. Also, whatever medical bills your health insurance company pays for, they have the right to be reimbursed that amount.




Do photographs help my case?


Yes, taking pictures of the property damage to the vehicles, as well as your injuries, helps to preserve very important evidence used in your claim. Also, the injury photographs should be taken over time to document the progression and changes to the injuries as you go through the healing process.




How long do I have to file suit on my motor vehicle accident claim?


In Florida, the deadline to file suit on a Personal Injury Claim is 4 years. If the injuries stemming from the motor vehicle accident resulted in death, the time deadline to file suit is 2 years from the day of accident. As these are important legal rights with severe consequences if all pre-suit conditions are not complied with, I strongly encourage you to consult with an attorney or legal representative to make sure your rights are protected.




If the insurance company for the at-fault party calls me, should I talk to them?


If you have not already retained an attorney to represent you, you can speak with them, although we recommend you do not allow them to take your recorded statement. If the insurance company tries to take your recorded statement, you will be aware since they have to get your permission to do so. Once you have retained an attorney, you should no longer be speaking directly with the insurance company. Instead, tell them to call your attorney.




A person from my motor vehicle insurance company is calling; do I need to speak with them?


Yes, as part of the terms of your contract with your automobile insurance company, they have a right to take your recorded statement to get a better description of the accident and your injuries. If you refuse to give your own insurance company a statement, they can deny coverage on your claim.





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