Florida PIP Insurance Fraud on the Legislative Agenda

by Carmen Dellutri on December 14, 2011

Fort Myers personal injury attorneyAs we mentioned in an earlier blog post, insurance fraud costs Florida drivers almost $1 billion a year in higher car-insurance premiums. In response to rising costs, it appears that Gov. Rick Scott and other state officials are looking to take action, particularly against fraud associated with personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.

Under Florida law, motorists are required maintain a minimum of $10,000 in insurance for PIP benefits to cover loss sustained as a result of bodily injury, sickness, or death related to motor vehicles. It was initially implemented in the 1970s to encourage injured motorists to seek medical attention and avoid litigation.

Late last month, Gov. Scott held a press conference with Cabinet members, law enforcement officers, and industry lobbyists during which he blamed staged Florida car accidents, sham clinics, and unnecessary medical procedures for driving up the cost of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.

“It’s a $900 million tax on consumers,” Scott told reporters and lobbyists representing physicians, hospitals, plaintiff’s attorneys, providers, and insurance companies. “Crashes are down but costs are up. That makes absolutely no sense. It’s happening because our current laws are being taken advantage of.”

Following the governor’s remarks, the Florida Legislature began considering proposals that would make a number of changes regarding PIP insurance. For instance, a House proposal would limit rates and the number of chiropractic or massage treatments within a 12-month period for accident victims, cap attorneys fees for legal cases, and revoke benefits to recipients who submit fraudulent or exaggerated claims. Insurance companies would also face new regulations.

The Senate also began looking at efforts address PIP abuse. Areas that may be considered include requiring clinics to be headed by physicians and limiting the number of procedures allowed during the course of treatment.

Source: Sunshine Slate

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Florida car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Florida injury attorneys for a free consultation.


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