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Friday, December 14, 2012

Florida No-Fault PIP injunction denied by Judge Lazarra


Okay, the injunction for the Jan 1, 2013 PIP legislation was denied.  The Judge said that the plaintifs have not demonstrated that they had a chance of winning based on the arguments or merits of the case.

This is no big surprise.  Most of the House and Senate voted to move the bil to the governors desk, and the governor pledged that he was going to sign the bill into law.  At one point he said this will be the highlight of his career.  They keep touting this new law as such a savior of money for Florida drivers.  They say how its going to reduce premiums and eliminate fraud.  All sounds so good especially if you paint the picture you want to paint, and leave out the facts of this case.  Based on this, and its all political--no Judge wants to be the one to allow this injunction to go forward, and potentially delay the implementation of the new no fault law.  Especially before anyone has had a chance to see if it would actually work.

There are some very important changes to the law, which the Judge says has no merit.  The following are a list of things that you should know about this law.  The first thing is that you have up to 14 days to initiate treatment after an accident.  If you wait one extra minute, your insurance carrier will deny your injury claim.   In an environment where there is an insurance crises in the first place, I have no idea how this has no basis for an injunction.    Second, is that massage and acupuncture, which have been proven to be of great value for soft tissue injuries, are now eliminated. Even if you are a licensed doctor, your patient is not entitled to (under the terms of the no-fault law) any kind of soft tissue rub on the body.   The patient can have it, as long as they are willing to pay out of pocket.  This is wonderful for those who have suffered an injury in an automobile.  Third, the benefit is now 75% less than it used to be.  In most cases, you now have only $2500 in no fault insurance if you are injured.  This amount of money will last about 4 minutes in any emergency room.  Finally, there are thousands of people who make a living treating accident patients, who will now be out of work.  Oddly enough the majority of legislators in Florida are Republicans, who claim want to get people back to work.  I guess the trick to getting people back to work is to eliminate their income.

 What they have essentially accomplished is increasing insurance corporate profits by taking the insurance company responsibility away.  Yes, its true.  These people just do not care about the working man or the average Joe.

Anyway, I'm not sure about this. I would like to ask a lawyer what the next step is from here.  If anyone knows, please let me know.

Professionally yours,

Dr. Alan Himmel

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