Insurance-Related Frequently Asked Questions

Ward & Barnes, P.A., is a Pensacola law firm for personal injury and wrongful death cases. Our competent legal team is well-equipped to address all your concerns, including those involving automobile insurance coverage. Here are a few common questions about insurance:

Q. What is personal injury protection (PIP) coverage?

A. Under Florida law, all drivers licensed in this state must carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage. Essentially, this PIP coverage is intended to cover medical bills and expenses if you are hurt in an auto accident — regardless of who was at fault.

Your PIP carrier is required to pay for 80 percent of your medical bills up to the maximum $10,000. The 20 percent balance is covered from the at-fault driver's insurance, also known as Bodily Injury Coverage. Your PIP carrier is also required to pay for 60 percent of any documented lost wages you may incur up to the $10,000 maximum limit.

Prior to January 1, 2013, there was no limit on how long you had to seek treatment after an accident. Today, the law states that you only have 14 days to obtain initial medical care, otherwise you will not be reimbursed by PIP. Even if you are successful in seeking medical treatment within the 14 day time period, you could still be limited to $2,500 in coverage instead of the full $10,000 if you are not deemed to have an Emergency Medical Condition (EMC) by a licensed physician.

If you are concerned about the strict time limit, or have questions about the new PIP laws, call our office today to learn more about your rights and options.

Q. What is bodily injury (BI) liability insurance?

A. If you are injured in a car accident, the at-fault driver's Bodily Injury (BI) insurance is responsible for compensating you for your injuries. BI coverage is used to pay for your medical treatment separate and apart from the medical treatment covered by your PIP carrier. Bodily Injury coverage is also used to compensate the victim for past and future wage loss, as well as pain and suffering caused by the accident.

However, BI coverage is not required by law in Florida and therefore it is important to determine as soon as possible if the at-fault party has proper BI coverage. Call the attorneys at Ward & Barnes, P.A., and let us help answer your Bodily Injury questions.

Q. How does uninsured or underinsured motorists (UM/UIM) coverage benefit me?

A. If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) and you are injured by a driver without BI coverage, or without enough bodily injury coverage, you can make a claim against your own UM/UIM policy to help compensate for your injuries. Plus, UM/UIM coverage provides compensation if you are injured by a hit-and-run driver or if you are injured as a pedestrian or as a bicyclist.

Q. Can you help with the property damage part of my claim?

A. Absolutely, we can assist you with the property damage portion of your motor vehicle accident claim. Generally speaking, however, we usually recommend that you take the first steps of getting the property damage issues resolved because you know your vehicle much better than we do and you will be in a better position to value its true worth. However, if you feel the insurance company is treating you unfairly and not giving you a fair value for your property damage, we can step in and assist you at any time.

Contact Us To Learn More

To schedule a free consultation about any type of accident or injury case in northwest Florida, call Ward & Barnes, P.A., at 850-912-9967 or contact us online.