Category Archives: NEW PIP LAW

What You Need to Know Before Your Teen Gets Behind the Wheel

teen driving

While your teenager is full of excitement as he or she heads over to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to obtain her driver’s license, you are full of anxiety.

You’ve seen the statistics.

You know that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that drivers ages 16-19 are three times more likely to be in a crash than drivers age 20 and older.  The same statistics hold true for fatal crashes, per mile driven.

Here is the information behind the statistics that you need to know:

  • Teenage male drivers are nearly twice as likely as females to be in a fatal crash.
  • The risk of a crash is highest in the first few months after a teen obtains a license.
  • New teen drivers often fail to recognize hazardous situations.
  • Teens driving with other teen passengers increases the risk of a crash.
  • Teens tend to speed more often than any other drivers.
  • Teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use.
  • Over 1/5 of all teen drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents were drinking.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Statistics 2010-2011

What can you do to reduce these risks for your new teen driver?

1.       Make Safety the First Priority.  Always.

 In the first several months after your teen gets her license, be sure to:

  • Drive slowly and safely
  • Restrict number of passengers
  • Practice driving in poor weather conditions
  • Limit night driving

Always follow these critical rules anytime your teen drives:

  • Wear a seatbelt
  • Avoid driving when tired, angry, or upset
  • Comply with speed signs and traffic laws — no tailgating
  • Avoid cell phone use when driving
  • Never drive after drug or alcohol use

Finally, put this important safety rule in place:

  • Allow your teen the ability to call home for a ride (even if she has the car)– no questions asked.

2.       Select a Safer Car for Your Teen.

If you are considering purchasing a vehicle for your teen, look beyond the model, make and price.  Take a closer look at accident rates, year made , and overall safety features.    While you may know that small cars are considered less safe than larger, heavier vehicles, you may be surprised to find that SUVs have higher accident rates than 4-door sedans.  Also, if purchasing a used car, it’s important to know the year of make to determine if the vehicle has airbags and other safety features.

3.       Enroll Your Teen in an Advanced Driving Course.

Your teen may have his driver’s license, but more practice may be just what he needs before he gets out on the South Florida roads.  Parents can set limits on driving, register their teen for advanced driving courses, and follow a strict Graduated Driver Licensing program.

4.       Involve Your Teen in the Insurance Equation.

Insurance for teen drivers is costly.  Have your teen take an active role in pricing insurance, researching premiums and deductibles, understanding the factors that make up the vehicle insurance cost, and paying for it.

5.       Be a Role Model.

Always set the example.  As a reminder,

  • Wear a seatbelt
  • Comply with speed signs and traffic laws
  • Avoid cell phone use when driving
  • Avoid alcohol before driving

Know a few other teen parents?  Share this article.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at 888-504-HURT (4878).

Florida Automobile Insurance Rates May Not Go Down

October 1st was the deadline for Florida automobile insurers to submit a rate filing showing at least a 10 percent decrease in insurance rates. If they can’t meet this reduction, then they must explain why not. The premise behind the new PIP law change, according to Gov. Scott, was to reduce “fraud” in the system, decrease litigation, and thereby lower the rates for everyone. The first real test is whether the insurance companies actually do lower their rates, or, notwithstanding the new law, continue with the same or higher rates into the future. Some insurance companies such as Florida Farm Bureau Insurance Company, MGA Insurance Companies, and Agency Insurance Companies have already requested rate increases instead.
At a recent legal seminar the speakers all agreed that based on the poorly worded new legislation, there will be an increase, not a decrease, in litigation. There are already newly filed lawsuits contesting the constitutionality of the new statute by acupuncturists and massage businesses that were barred from getting insurance benefits by billing PIP insurance. Regulators have been urged to closely review each filing to make sure that all rate increases are fully justified, however, there is no clear standard for what a “justified rate increase” would be in the new law. On January 1, 2013 regulators will be called to reduce their rates by 25 percent, but similar filings for “justified rate increases” are likely to result.

What Floridians Can Expect With The New PIP Law

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  • Medical treatment must be sought within 14 days of the car accident in order to be eligible to file a PIP insurance claim, otherwise, your right to file a claim is waived
  • New PIP law seeks to cap monetary amount of claims for damages at $2,500 unless “Emergency Medical Condition”
  • “Emergency Medical Condition” is defined as:
    • A medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, which may include pain, such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in any of the following:
      • Serious jeopardy to patient health
      • Serious impairment to bodily functions
      • Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part
  • Chiropractors may not diagnose a patient with an “Emergency Medical Condition” and acupuncture and massage therapy are excluded from claim payments after the accident
  • New PIP law defines who may diagnose an “Emergency Medical Condition”:
    • Medical Doctor
    • Osteopathic Physician
    • Dentist
    • Supervised Physician’s Assistant
    • Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
  • If there is a proper diagnosis of an “Emergency Medical Condition,” then PIP will cover up to $10,000 in medical and disability benefits
    • In addition to the $10,000 policy limits, there is a $5,000 death benefit
  • If initial services and care are rendered within 14 days after the accident, the covered medical benefits include:
    • 80% of all reasonable expenses for medically necessary medical, surgical, X-Ray, dental, and rehabilitative services, including prosthetic devices, and medically necessary ambulance, hospital, and nursing services