A few months ago, I was involved in a car accident. My vehicle was rear-ended while sitting in traffic (total loss - insurance paid out already). Initially, I began experiencing discomfort in my upper shoulders and neck (and later some tingling in my fingers). I visited a chiropractor within the 14-day window. She performed several X-rays and made an adjustment. Since that time, I have been feeling much better and do not wish to continue receiving treatment. Am I eligible for the $2500 PIP/medical benefit, even though I only had 1 visit? I know that everyone will recommend speaking with an attorney, but I have tried that already. They've all suggested many more chiropractic visits, which does not interest me. Can I proceed with filing a PIP medical claim, without additional medical visits?
Personal Injury protection benefits are available to pay for medical treatment or lost wages. They are not intended to compensate you for your injury. PIP should have addressed the payment of your single doctor's visit already. If you have lost time from work you can submit a wage claim and PIP will pay 60% of your lost wages. if however you are asking if you can make a claim for the PIP benefits to put the money in your pocket, the answer is likely no.
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
Pip only pays for medical bills you already incurred. Your UM coverage or the at fault party's BI coverage will pay for things like pain and suffering
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It doesn't make sense that you wouldn't retain a local lawyer to pursue money damages.
Personal Injury Lawyer
No, you cannot make a claim to recover payments for services which were not actually rendered. Pip benefits are paid after you have actually received medical treatments and timely presented the bills to your insurance company.
If you can proceed in making a claim for pip benefits without having received medical treatments, it will surely be denied and worse more, some over-zealous claims adjusters can accuse you of attempting to commit insurance fraud.
As others have pointed out, PIP only pays a percentage of medical bills/wage loss up to policy limits. You may have had actual limits over $2500. However, as you are "feeling" better, there isn't much to claim against BI and/or UIM. If you are having pain, I would immediately seek follow up treatment. Without permanent injury and/or severe disfigurement, you are not entitled to non-economic damages in Florida - ie, pain and suffering, etc. If you are "healed" then good for you, but bad for your case. Monetarily is all about your damages, and from what you have indicated, you have one visit to the chiropractor in a "few months" of time.
PIP benefits are soley for medical expenses, loss wage claim and mileage reinbursement during medical visits. If you don't use this benefit for this incident you unfortuantely loss it. At no time is the benefit used to compensate you in the form of a settlement. Hope this answers your question.
Personal Injury Lawyer
I agree with the answers already given by other,s but would add that should you need further care with medical providers, you may be able to access your PIP benefits to help pay for medical expenses. It is a good thing you did seek care within the first 14 days after the accident, otherwise there would be no PIP benefits available at all under the amended PIP law. But as others have said, PIP does not pay for treatment not yet rendered. If you wish to pursue a monetary settlement, that would be done through the at-fault party's insurance and/or your own UM carrier. Retain an attorney if you decide to proceed with your case as there are many complicated issues involved with making a claim for personal injury. However, it sounds like you are feeling better and that is a good thing. The goal always is to get better. Best of luck to you.
Ian M. Thomas, Esq. - Tripp Law Firm, P.A. - www.trippfirm.com The above answer should not be construed to constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This information is intended as educational only and you should seek a qualified and experienced lawyer with questions about your legal rights. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask for free written information about the lawyer's or law firm's qualifications and experience.
You obviously do not understand the nature of the insurance coverage you have purchased. I suggest that you read your policy or speak with your agent about what PIP coverage entails. You are referring to a policy limit, not your entitlement to any compensation. PIP is to pay medical bills, not you. You would need to prove your entitlement to any damages beyond the medical bills.
You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on Avvo.com.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
Personal Injury Lawyer
It would appear that you qualify for $2500 PIP/medical benefits but most of those benefits are paid to medical facilities who treated you. Under PIP you can make a claim for loss wages.
It is best that an experience injury attorney review your case to determine if you may be eligible for additional compensation based on your injuries and the facts of your case.