Florida is what is called a “No Fault State.”
What that means is you must use your own Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) if you are involved in a automobile crash. It has absolutely nothing to do with who is at-fault.
You must go through your own PIP coverage first no matter who is at fault in a crash. Florida law also makes PIP coverage “primary,” and that means that a hospital or doctor must bill your PIP insurance carrier first. After that, your personal health care coverage, Medicaid coverage, or Medicare coverage will probably pay for whatever PIP does not cover, but you must bill PIP first.
Here is why this is important: I just spent the better part of an hour trying to sort out a client’s case because she did not give her PIP coverage to the hospital or any of her doctors. That would have taken her one minute. Instead, she gave them her Medicare coverage information.
This simple mistake will cause other issues with her coverage somewhere down the line because Medicare, in particular, almost always complicates issues. Additionally, my client’s PIP carrier is known to be difficult when bills are submitted late even though the bills are for the proper date of service.
So why should you care about the additional work that your attorney must do? Because this is going to slow up how soon my client eventually gets her money. Until I can sort out all the Medicare,hospital, and doctors liens, I cannot pay anyone.
I am also not working on anyone’s case when I am on the phone chatting with someone’s billing department and trying to convince them to put my client’s PIP information into their computer.
Think of it as bad customer service on steroids.
Because my client did not take a minute to hand her automobile insurance card over to her doctors and instead used Medicare for her initial treatment, her settlement will be delayed by probably up to sixty days.
I have absolutely no control over how quickly these various healthcare providers, Medicare, or even her own insurance company will work to resolve these issues. They simply have no vested interest in getting anything done quickly because they have already been paid.
Please do yourself a favor and give your medical providers all your insurance information if you are in a car crash, but most importantly, give them your PIP carrier’s information first.
It will save your attorney a lot of wasted time that he could be spending on your case, and you will get your money a lot quicker.