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How to handle a medical claim when rear-ended

September 15, 2010

I was recently rear-ended (in FLA) while stopped and attempting to enter onto a highway. There was minor damage to my car. My two kids in the back were not injured. I suffered some neck/back pain, both new injury and aggravation of an existing condition. When I reported accident to my insurance, I was informed that my insurance, which has been automatically drafted from account for 10 years, had lapsed. I wasn’t aware of this but corrected the situation ASAP. I am not looking to make any money (or war# but am wondering if the other insurance company will pay medical bills #chiro) when they learn of my coverage. I am prepared to pay out of pocket for medical especially if a fight is anticipated. Any advice? Thanks!

Answer:

Nikki, since your accident occurred in Florida, I will presume you live in Florida.  I am aFlorida accident injury lawyer, so I can tell you how Florida law applies. But, if you live somewhere other than Florida, the laws are most likely different and you should consult with an attorney in your area.

Florida is a “no fault” insurance state for car accidents.  This means that no matter who is at fault for causing the accident, your initial medical bills are to be covered by your own car insurance coverage.

Florida Statute section 627.736 requires that all drivers and owners of cars in Florida purchase personal injury protection coverage (PIP).  PIP coverage covers 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages, subject to any deductible, and usually with a cap of $10,000.  If your PIP coverage lapsed, you are responsible for your medical bills and lost wages.  There is nothing in Florida accident injury laws that makes the at fault party’s insurance coverage responsible for your medical bills.

You can still pursue a claim for your injuries, lost wages, medical bills above and beyond what your PIP should have paid, and pain and suffering against the at fault party, and his/her insurance company.  Even if you do not have PIP, if you were injured in the accident, you should get checked out by a doctor to rule out any serious or permanent injuries.

If your injuries do not go away, you should speak to a Florida car injury accident lawyersoon.  An experienced Florida car accident lawyer will know how to best proceed even if your PIP coverage has lapsed.

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