Politics | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

New Peronsal Injury Law Takes Effect January 1st

By: Matt Galka Email
By: Matt Galka Email

Florida's Personal Injury Protection or PIP benefits for drivers, change January 1st. There will now be tighter regulations in order to obtain the $10,000 coverage.

"Under the old law, you get into a car wreck, in order to get your Personal Injury Protection benefits, there was no real timeline as far as when you had to go see a doctor. Under this new law, the main thing for people to remember, if you get into a car wreck, and you think that you're hurt, you have 14 days to go see a doctor," said personal injury lawyer Mark Nonni.

Under the new law, if a person involved in an accident doesn't see a doctor in that two week window, they are not entitled to any of the $10,000 benefits, even though they've been paying for the premium monthly.

Nonni says he agrees with the spirit of the law in trying to limit PIP fraud, but he can see it impacting those with real claims as well.

"The law is casting out a net to try and catch all the bad guys, but because the law is written so broadly, it could end up catching the good guys too," said Nonni.

Some legislators said that less fraud should lead to lower premiums but the lower premium isn't written into the law.

Tallahassee insurance agent Doug Croley said via phone: "It should be a benefit to the public as a whole if the fraudulent claims are reduced. Time will tell whether or not this approach is going to work in saving money on auto-insurance PIP premiums."


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