Judge grants injunction against Florida’s new PIP insurance law

A Leon County judge has issued a partial injunction against the state’s PIP auto insurance law, putting at least a temporary stop to the controversial changes, pushed by Governor Rick Scott’s office.

Circuit Judge Terry P. Lewis granted an injunction on parts of the law that require a finding of an emergency medical condition as a prerequisite for payment of Personal Injury Protection benefits and that prohibit payment for services provided by accupuncturists, chiropractors and massage therapists.

The state’s Office of Insurance Regulation plans to file an appeal, probably by Friday, spokeswoman Amy Bogner said. The matter could eventually wind up before the state’s Supreme Court.

Florida requires a driver to carry $10,000 in PIP coverage, which is designed to cover his own medical costs, even if he is at fault. Scott and other supporters of the new law said it was designed to reduce the amount insurers pay out for fraud and staged accidents.

Tto qualify for the full $10,000 benefit under the new law, treatment must begin within 14 days for an emergency medical condition, involving care from such providers as an ambulance, hospital, physician or dentist.

Non-emergency benefits are limited to $2,500, and massage or acupuncture are shut out of the PIP system under the law.

The Injury and Accident Law Firm of Smith & Vanture can assist persons injured as a result of car accidents, to obtain full benefits under the new law and obtain compansation from the at fault party as well. Smith & Vanture can be contacted at www.SmithVanture.com or toll free at (800) 443-4529.

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