As a Florida driver, it is of the utmost importance that you be fully informed on how you are protected if you are injured in an automobile accident. Getting behind the wheel of a car has proven time and time again to be a very serious situation. With all of the distractions that keep other motorists from focusing on the road, driving can become extremely dangerous to our well being.
Most drivers know that it is the law in Florida to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage if you own and drive a motor vehicle. The importance of this coverage goes beyond simply obeying the law. If you are ever injured as a result of an automobile accident, this coverage is what will pay up to your first ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) in medical bills. Florida is a no-fault state, which means that no matter who is at fault for the accident, your medical bills will be covered through your PIP coverage first.
In order to have your medical bills paid through a PIP claim, you must first be qualified by the insurance company. Here are some ways to qualify:
- If you have auto insurance, regardless of being the driver or passenger of the vehicle that was driven in the accident, you must go through your insurance for the PIP coverage. It is extremely important to note that if you own a vehicle, or have a vehicle that is registered in your name, and that vehicle is uninsured (does not have PIP coverage); it is likely that you will be denied PIP coverage all together. This is why it is imperative to insure your vehicle.
- If you do not own a vehicle and therefore do not have PIP coverage, then insurance companies will want to qualify you for PIP coverage through a person who you live with who does have insurance. Insurance companies refer to these people as Resident Relatives. Often times those persons who are in the same household as you may be reluctant to have a PIP claim filed under their insurance because they think it will raise their premiums. The fact is, an insurance company can raise your rates for many different reasons, and it is not certain that simply making a claim will increase their rates.
- If you do not qualify under either of the first two scenarios, because you do not own a vehicle or have your own PIP coverage, and you do not live with someone who has PIP coverage, then you may qualify under the person’s vehicle you were in at the time of the accident. This scenario would cover you as either the driver or passenger of their vehicle.
- If there is no way to qualify you for PIP coverage under the above three ways, then filing a claim for medical coverage can be done through the at-fault party’s insurance company. The insurance company for the other party will do its due diligence as to making sure that you do not qualify under any of the other ways before they will pay for your medical expenses. This makes it extremely important to go through each scenario in order as to making sure which way covers you.
The Fort Lauderdale and Miami accident attorneys of Madalon Law know what questions to ask you to make sure you are qualified to receive the benefits you deserve. Contact us today and speak with one of the legal representatives who will help you get the qualification needed to obtain your coverage. We offer free consultations and help victims throughout the state of Florida.