Florida is one of ten states that require drivers to carry personal injury protection auto insurance (PIP). It can be argued that the basis for the insurance industry having lobbied for a system of “no fault” coverage was originally to restrict the number of claims for vehicular related negligence claims, fraudulent or righteous, however the opposite has clearly occurred.
The issue today is how to maintain a system of justice that allows for people to quickly and efficiently have access to needed compensation after they’ve been injured in a vehicular accident, especially one that wasn’t their fault, and need to pay for medical care as a result. No matter what laws are on the books, there will always be a few who attempt to cheat the system (as we saw when some in both the legal and medical profession were recently arrested in a sting uncovering an alleged scheme of insurance fraud), but is it then fair to deprive the masses because our system might not be properly monitored and regulated? And furthermore, is the insurance industry the innocent player it makes itself out to be in all of this?
Now, as calls for eliminating the PIP coverage requirement gain steam, we have to ask ourselves if that is the best course moving forward. While PIP fraud may seem to be an issue, according to several sources, it appears to be trending downward, and with the passing of additional legislation in 2012 aimed at curbing PIP fraud, insurance premiums appear to be falling as well.
While both sides of this debate have merit, it is important to remember that the actions of some unscrupulous individuals and insurers (driven by greed instead of ethics) should not give momentum to an argument that wants take benefits away from people who truly need it. And more importantly, those of us privileged to work in law or medicine should hold ourselves to a higher standard, and demand that our colleagues do the same.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident or know someone who has, please call us at (954) 349-3300 for a free consultation.