The Florida Legislature is moving ahead with plans to reform the state’s mandatory personal injury protection (PIP) insurance rules. Florida lawmakers and insurance companies have been battling a rampant outbreak of fraud throughout the state. Insurers claim that the fraud stems from the state’s regulations which require all drivers to have PIP coverage. The coverage is comprised of no-fault policies, which require insurers to pay claims whether a policyholder is at fault in an accident or not.
This week, the Civil Justice Subcommittee approved HB 119, the bill that will make changes to the state’s existing auto insurance laws. Governor Rick Scott has expressed his eagerness to sign the bill into law and believes that it will help the state resolve some of its problems with fraudulent claims and staged accidents. The legislation requires those injured in car accidents to seek medical care within 72 hours in order to claim benefits from their insurance provider.
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The bill is not without controversy, however, and contains a peculiar provision that has consumers on edge. The provision dictates that accident victims must be subjected to examinations under oath, which means that they will be questioned by lawyers working for their insurance company before they receive medical attention. This can be a time consuming process and victims could be suggested to questions that are unrelated to the event. This would become problematic for the 72 hour timeframe of the law, especially as soft-tissue injuries such as concussion often do not present symptoms until the following day.
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