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Winter 2013
d&G Lawyer News

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  • Florida PIP Statute Escapes Constitutionality Challenge
  • By: David M. Caldevilla

    Since 1971, Florida's Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law has required motorists to purchase no-fault insurance, also known as personal injury protection, or "PIP" insurance. The purpose of the PIP statute is to provide for medical, surgical, funeral, and disability insurance benefits without regard to fault. As originally established, the PIP statute provided $10,000 of insurance coverage. In return for assuring payment of these benefits, the law limits the right to bring lawsuits arising from motor vehicle accidents.

    In the summer of 2012, the Florida Legislature passed significant changes to the PIP statute, including:
    • A new requirement that persons injured in motor vehicle accidents must generally seek medical care within 14 days of the accident. If an injured person waits until after that two week period elapses, he or she may become ineligible for PIP benefits.
    • Instead of the full $10,000 of PIP coverage, if the treating physician determines that the patient's injury did not result in an "emergency medical condition," the patient’s available PIP benefits may be limited to merely $2,500.
    • There are also new limitations on the types of treatment available to injured persons seeking PIP benefits. As a result, acupuncture, massage therapy, and chiropractic services are now excluded from the list of health care services covered by PIP.
    Despite these significant changes, most insurance companies are still charging motorists the same (or even higher) premiums for PIP insurance.

    On March 15, 2013, a Leon County Circuit Judge held that the new amendments to the PIP statute rendered the law unconstitutional, and he imposed a temporary injunction that prohibited the enforcement of the amendments concerning emergency medical conditions, and services provided by acupuncturists, chiropractors, and massage therapists. That decision was appealed to the Florida First District Court of Appeal.

    On October 23, 2013, the First District reversed and vacated the injunction. See, McCarty v. Myers, --- So.3d ----, 2013 WL 5744435 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013). The Court found that the plaintiffs did not have proper standing to challenge the constitutionality of the amendments. At the same time, however, the Court implied that an injured person with a liability claim and a nonpermanent injury could challenge the statute, but that type of party was not present in this case. The plaintiffs’ motion for rehearing was denied on November 25, 2013. At this time, it is unknown whether the plaintiffs will seek further review in the Florida Supreme Court.

    The new changes to the PIP statute are both extensive and complex. de la Parte & Gilbert, P.A. has experience representing and counseling health care providers and injured parties in disputes with PIP insurers. Our firm also frequently co-counsels with other attorneys in PIP matters. For more information, contact attorneys David Caldevilla, Patrick McNamara, or Michael Bray at (813) 229-2775, or by email at,, or
    101 E. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 2000 | Tampa, FL 33602 | 813-229-2775 Fax: 813-229-2712
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