Effects of Miami’s High Rates of Uninsured Citizens on Personal Injury Law

According to the Miami Herald, Miami will soon be facing a serious public health crisis that could overwhelm its hospitals and raise costs. Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid eligibility is expanded to all low-income qualifying adults. However, Miami’s legislators failed to expand coverage, leaving as many as 567,000 residents without insurance. Florida will receive less federal funding this year as a result of the decision. Yet, for Miami-Dade residents and hospitals, state legislated decisions may hit close to home.

For instance, trauma hospitals who treat car accident victims will lose an estimated $241 million this year in crucial funding. The actions of legislators also have an impact on auto insurance and on victims of personal injury in car accidents. Jackson Memorial Hospital, which takes the uninsured, will likely be facing increased pressure in the years to come to both treat the chronically ill and those injured due to trauma in car accidents. One in four adults in Florida are in poor health.

Florida drivers are required to pay higher rates for auto insurance, making Florida’s insurance rates among the highest in the country, with state residents paying the country’s 4th highest premiums. Floridians must carry Personal Injury Protection coverage, whether or not they have medical coverage. Personal Injury Protection coverage pays for medical expenses for accident victims if they don’t have sufficient medical coverage.

A motion blur image of a speeding car

Furthermore, citizens often have to shoulder victims’ medical expenses when they aren’t covered by health insurance. More personal injury lawsuits may be filed in order to assist people who could otherwise not pay for crucial post-accident care.

One legislator is fighting to eliminate Florida’s no-fault coverage laws. But these changes could put vulnerable citizens who already don’t have medical coverage in an even more vulnerable position if they get into a car accident. As it stands, Florida insurers will pay up to $10,000 of medical expenses after an accident regardless of who is at fault. Car accidents can leave individuals with devastating and life-threatening injuries. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, a personal injury lawyer in Miami, Florida may be able to assist you in getting the medical coverage you deserve under Florida’s Personal Injury Protection coverage. Sometimes insurers don’t offer victims the money they deserve or they under-value the cost of medical expenses and rehabilitation fees. If you feel this is the case, don’t settle for less. Speak to a car accident attorney today.

Ultimately, Florida’s failure to offer coverage to its poorest citizens puts pressure on everyone else to pay the tab. We pay more in insurance premiums, we pay more taxes, and we pay in terms of poor health. For victims of car accidents who are uninsured, it is important to understand your rights. Under Florida law, you are entitled to receive compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages under Florida’s personal injury laws. Wolfson & Leon, L.L.P. are attorneys in Miami Florida who will take on the insurance companies and fight to protect your rights to help get you the care and coverage you need.

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