Children are the unfortunate victims of personal injuries caused by automobile accidents. In most instances, the injured child bears no responsibility or fault for the accident. Regardless of fault, a child is typically entitled to PIP (Personal Injury Protection) benefits to pay for medical care related to the injuries suffered as a result of the Florida Automobile Accident. A new Florida law went into effect on January 1, 2013. Under the prior law, most Florida PIP automobile insurance policies provided for $10,000 in PIP coverage. Under the new law, some injured children will qualify for up to $10,000 in PIP coverage and some will only qualify for up to $2,500 in PIP coverage. A new requirement was placed in Section 627.736, Florida Statutes, that now requires a injury victim to have an Emergency Medical Condition as a result of the accident as determined by a Doctor / Physician, Physician Assistant, ARNP (Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, or a Dentist.
Pursuant to Section 627.732, Florida Statutes, Emergency Medical Condition is defined as follows:
“Emergency Medical Condition” means a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, which may include severe pain, such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in any of the following:
(a) Serious jeopardy to patient health.
(b) Serious impairment to bodily functions.
(c) Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.
Since this law is so new, there have been no cases or interpretations from Circuit Courts, Appellate Courts, or the Supreme Court as to which particular conditions, cases, and / or symptoms qualify as an Emergency Medical Condition.
When a child or other injured treatment receives treatment for automobile accident related personal injuries, it is important that the injury victim is treated by a qualified medical provider who understands traumatic injuries as well as the laws / procedures regarding PIP laws and processes. This is especially true now that this new law has been put into place.
Another requirement under the new Florida PIP laws is that an injury victim must receive medical care and services within 14 days of the automobile accident in order to qualify for PIP benefits. This requirement is unique to the new Florida PIP laws.
In addition to received quality, professional and experienced medical care, an injury victim should also have the benefit of legal advice, consultation, and representation from a Florida Child Injury Lawyer.
The book – When the Wheels Stop Spinning – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Parents Need to Know After the Accident – has chapters on Automobile Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Compensation – Settlement, Wrongful Death, and other topics. You can receive this book for free at When the Wheels Stop Spinning.