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Florida Senate Passes Personal Injury Protection Reform Bill


On Friday March 9, 2012, after a long debate, the Florida Senate passed a measure reforming Florida's personal injury protection (PIP) law.

The previous PIP system required that drivers carry a minimum of $10,000 in auto insurance. Any time a driver gets into an accident, insurance companies were required to pay out medical expenses regardless of fault.

The result was that Florida had a large amount of insurance fraud. Amongst other ploys, citizens would stage accidents in cooperation with doctors to capitalize on the required insurance payouts. Consequently, Florida insurance rates have been incredibly high.

The Senate's new Bill, HB 119, was passed in the Senate when 22 voted in favor of the law, and 17 voted against. Senator Rick Scott worked feverishly to convince senators to embrace the new measure. But there was a large amount of resistance, and a huge debate on the Senate floor prior to its passing.

Senator Dennis Jones said, “this is a bad bill. Let's start over in special session.”

But Senator Joe Negron countered, “I think it'll make a big difference in cutting down on fraud.”

The bill passed at exactly midnight on the close of the 2012 annual session. The final version gives victims up to 14 days to obtain medical treatment and allows insurance companies to question victims under oath. It also allows chiropractors to qualify only by referral.