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Push is On to Overhaul New PIP Insurance Law


A lawsuit filed by chiropractors, acupuncturists and massage therapists challenges the controversial new PIP law. A lawsuit filed by chiropractors, acupuncturists and massage therapists challenges the controversial new PIP law. A controversial new Personal Injury Protection (PIP) law passed by legislators last year may be set for an overhaul, say personal injury attorneys in Jacksonville. In a sternly worded ruling, Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis placed a temporary injunction on the law, saying that it severely limits care. The state filed an appeal with the First District Court of Appeal the next day and managed to get the injunction stayed. But the legal wrangling over this highly restrictive law is far from over. Lewis’ ruling came by way of a case filed by a group of chiropractors, massage therapists and acupuncturists arguing that the law violates their ability to contract to earn a living; violates due process; and violates victims’ access to courts, among other issues. In effect as of January 1, the law limits payment for chiropractic treatment and disallows coverage for massage and acupuncture treatment altogether for auto accident victims. It requires victims to receive initial treatment of injuries within 14 days after the date of the accident – a requirement that makes sense for victims with obvious and urgent injuries such as broken bones, punctured organs or internal bleeding, but can further harm victims of soft tissue injuries, which don’t show up on X-ray images and may not be fully felt for weeks. The law also cuts potential benefits, capping payment for emergency medical conditions at $10,000 and non-emergency conditions at $2,500. Also known as Florida’s no-fault law, PIP dates back to the 1970s and was designed to assure victims benefits and keep auto accident cases out of the state’s courts. But those taking advantage of the system in fraudulent ways, such as staging fake accidents and submitting bogus claims, sparked reform efforts. While the need to weed out fraudsters is a legitimate one, personal injury attorneys believe the current law too severely limits victims’ ability to secure fair and adequate compensation. If you or your dependents are injured in a car crash, contact an experienced personal injury and auto accident attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell at 800-251-1111.

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