If you’ve suffered an injury in an auto accident and are looking for a Pensacola personal injury lawyer, there have been significant changes to the law over the last year that you need to be aware of. Particularly important is a recent ruling that more clearly defines when an insurer must pay full Extended Personal Injury Protection, or “PIP” to victims of auto accidents. Legal precedent that had long been in place has finally been overturned, holding insurance companies accountable. No longer can these organizations take advantage of their consumers, as Florida courts have definitively stopped allowing them to shirk their responsibilities by inserting vague and ambiguous liability limiting language into their policies.
What Is PIP coverage?
Let’s first start with what any good Pensacola personal injury lawyer should explain clearly to a potential client: a PIP provides medical and disability benefits to drivers, passengers, injured bystanders, and others related to the insured. Florida state law mandates that 80% of reasonable costs must be covered by the PIP up to $10,000, and any additional purchased coverage is referred to as “Extended Personal Injury Protection.”
Prior to June of 2014, if there was a dispute on this matter, an insured individual and their Pensacola personal injury lawyer would be fighting against case law that had consistently sided with big insurance companies who were trying to “put one over” on the very people they were supposed to be protecting. It had become commonplace for insurance companies to utilize complex and confusing language that would be nearly indiscernible to the average consumer, rendering their Extended PIP useless and ultimately resulting in the insured not being covered properly during their time of need.
How Has The Way PIP Coverage Affects You In An Accident Changed?
Luckily, this injustice is no longer a problem, and a skilled and caring Pensacola personal injury lawyer can navigate this language for you very clearly. In June of 2014, in Spaid v. Integon Indemnity Corporation, the First District ruled in favor of a plaintiff who was fighting this very issue: an insurance company stating that it had liability limits that were agreed to by the insured. The court recognized the underhanded drafting of these agreements and set clear precedent against the practice. If it turns out that the insurance company did not state their intention “clearly and unambiguously” then they are not going to wriggle off the hook.
So going forward, courts will look at the plain language of a policy to determine coverage limits. If there is any ambiguity at all, it goes in favor of the plaintiff, not the well-endowed insurance companies.
If you have suffered an automobile accident or are embroiled in a dispute with your insurer and are seeking counsel, Zarzaur Law, P.A. is the premier law firm in Pensacola for such matters. Lead lawyer Joe Zarzaur is the top Pensacola personal injury lawyer and consistently gets results. For more information on this type of case, please feel free to contact the firm at 855-HIREJOE, or by requesting a free case review through our website.