I had the opportunity to visit my family doctor today, an MD for my annual physical. I happened to mention the new PIP law in Florida and inquired whether he had seen an influx of auto accident cases. I pointed out that auto accident victims must seek medical treatment within 14 days of their accident in order to qualify for PIP benefits, and that they must have an assessment by an MD, or DO, or dentist, or Licensed Nurse Practitioner in order to qualify for the full amount of PIP benefits.
My doctor, who happens to be an MD responded that they do not treat auto accident cases for several reasons. First, they do not want to get involved in billing auto insurance or haggling with insurance companies about getting their bills paid under the new PIP law. Second, they do not want to have to be producing medical records to insurance companies and attorneys. Third, they do not have the time to be subjected to depositions and court proceedings, the ultimate result of treating a car accident victim.
My doctor said that they simply do not have the time to get involved in all of the paperwork, producing medical records, depositions, and court proceedings. My doctor said that they normally refer their patients out, for the most part to chiropractors that handle auto accident cases. However under the new law, Chiropractors are not able to make a diagnosis of emergency medical condition.
Perhaps when the Florida Legislature enacted the new PIP law they believed that medical doctors (M.D.s) would be interested in treating auto accident cases, in light of the fact that the legislature has required treatment by an MD, Do, or Dentist as a prerequisite to obtaining the full PIP benefits.
Attorneys that represent auto accident victims can provide injured persons with the names of several reputable doctors that qualify under the new PIP law to conduct the appropriate evaluation to determine if the person had an emergency medical condition. A short cautionary tale however, some attorneys have close relationships with medical clinics or 800-lawyer/doctor referral services, and those lawyers may have a financial incentive to refer clients to a particular clinic or doctor. When you meet with a lawyer you should ask for the names of serveral different physicians. If your lawyer insists you see one particular clinic, you should inquire whether the lawyer has any type of relationship with that clinic or with a lawyer referral service affiliated with that clinic, and insist that your lawyer provide you with no less than three doctors to choose from.
For more information or for a free consultation, contact Scott and Fenderson at 727-321-0099 or visit our web site at www.scottandfenderson.com