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The Yau Law Firm
Focused on Protecting Businesses and Representing the Injured

Does the New Florida PIP Law Apply to My Pending Case?

“What if my car accident happened before 2013?” “Does the new Florida PIP law affect my case?” These are questions often asked by our personal injury clients at the Yau Law Firm. Our clients, however, are not the only ones asking these questions. In fact, medical providers are now wondering if the same stringent requirements of the new Florida Personal injury Protection (PIP) law apply to pending auto-accident cases.

Yesterday, I received a phone call from a medical provider requesting certain documents from our client. Prior to 2013, we had never received such a request. The caller stated that without these documents, the clinic could not otherwise provide medical treatment for our client lest the clinic wishes to risk criminal felony charges. The caller then referenced the new PIP statute.

But, our client’s car accident occurred in 2011.

The confusion isn’t uncommon. For at least a year, attorneys and lawmakers have commented on the changes that the new PIP statute would bring. Googling “Florida PIP” brings up over 5 million results. And, a good portion of those results talk about the confusion that the new PIP statute brings. Still, it should not come as a surprise to anyone that the year in which the car accident occurred is the year in which the law applies. In other words, if someone, like our client, had a car accident in 2011, then the new PIP statute doesn’t apply. The 2011 PIP statute would affect that person’s claim because the crash occurred in 2011.

Although the new PIP statute does not directly state that it applies only to car accidents occurring after January 1, 2013, it can be inferred that the PIP statute would not retroactively apply to cases prior to 2013. This inference comes from the Florida Supreme Court’s decisions in various case law. Take for instance, the case of Menendez v. Progressive Exp. Ins. Co., Inc., 35 So.3d 873 (Fla. 2010). In Menendez, the plaintiff sued Progressive Insurance for failing to provide PIP benefits. Although the plaintiff originally won the suit at the trial court level, the Third District Court of Appeals (3rd DCA) reversed that judgment on multiple grounds, including the plaintiff’s failure to provide statutory presuit notice. The notice requirement, however, came after the plaintiff’s insurance policy went into effect. In deciding whether the statute could retroactively apply to an insurance policy issued before the law came into effect, the Florida Supreme Court overturned the 3rd DCA’s decision. The Court concluded that even if the Florida Legislature intended the law to apply retroactively, the Court “will reject such application if the statute impairs a vested right, creates a new obligation, or imposes a new penalty.

At the Yau Law Firm, we are committed to getting things right. We know that legal  matters are the last thing you want to think about. Call us today to learn about your rights and what we can do for you. Our consultations for our personal injury clients are always free, and we won’t charge you anything unless you received a settlement or win at trial.

Article by: Florence Chen


Our client was able to seek medical treatment without having to disclose those requested documents.

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