ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Florida residents involved in car crashes may not be able to get the money they’re entitled to under Florida's personal injury protection.
A new law limits the amount of time a person has to make medical claims, so Channel 9's Jorge Estevez found out what you need to do to get the money you deserve.
David Harter said he was struck by a teenager driving behind him who was on a cellphone.
“I was rear-ended in a car accident,” said Harter.
It took Harter three weeks to see a chiropractor.
“I said, ‘OK, this is something I could deal with,’ but the pain began to radiate down my leg and into my ankles and lower back,” Harter said.
It was no problem for Harter to collect benefits under personal injury protection, but come January 2013, patients in Florida will no longer have two years after a crash to make medical claims. They will only have two weeks.
Dr. Jeff Bos, a chiropractor in Winter Springs, said he understands the law is meant to fight fraudulent medical claims, but he is worried for patients with legitimate pain who need that medical coverage.
“It is not uncommon for patients to have been in an accident four, five, six months or close to a year before they say, ‘You know what, something is not quite right,’” said Bos.
That was the case with Harter.
“It would have been extremely costly for me to have been outside that two week window,” he said.
Again, the new law shortens the amount of time you have to make a claim and use your $10,000 of PIP coverage.
Patients would still be covered by their insurance, but that coverage, depending on your insurance, can be limited and cost you more money out of pocket in deductibles and other expenses.