A federal judge has denied the progress of the process that could have blocked the PIP changes.
A federal judge has just ruled to stop an injunction designed to impede the personal injury protection (PIP) reforms to the auto insurance law in Florida, which had only just been enacted last year.
Supporters of the reform feel that this decision was an important victory for vehicle coverage in the state.
As a part of U.S. District Court Judge Richard Lazzara’s ruling, he refused to grant requests for an injunction that were made by a group of massage therapists, acupuncturists, and chiropractors. His decision stated that the group of plaintiffs had “utterly failed to demonstrate that there is a substantial likelihood they will eventually prevail on the merits” of the claims that they had made. The plaintiffs had been arguing that the auto insurance reforms in the state infringed on their ability to earn a living.
The injunction was one element of a larger lawsuit that has the intention of overturning the auto insurance reforms.
The lawsuit was filed against the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation that is aiming to reverse H.B. 119. The law was signed by Governor Rick Scott back in May 2012. It requires people who are making claims on personal injury protection to begin receiving treatment from a hospital or a doctor within fourteen days of having been in the accident. It also eliminated coverage for treatments received at massage facilities and from acupuncturists.
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Moreover, the auto insurance law also increased the penalties for fraudulent claims, and placed limits on the amount that attorneys can charge as their fees for this type of case. According to Christian Cámara, the R Street Florida Director, “While this is just a short-term procedural victory and the case will now proceed to trial, Justice Lazzara has handed down a defeat to the opponents of reform.”
Cámara went on to say that “This also marks a win for Florida consumers, who stand to benefit from containing the escalating costs in our auto insurance market.”
There were a number of different constitutional changes put forward against the PIP law. Primary among them was that the reforms to the auto insurance law in the state placed restrictions on some types of specific medical providers, while leaving others untouched.