PIP Personal Injury Services - Michael P. Maddux, P.A. Attorneys at Law
August 3, 2009
Re: Subrogation and the Victim Compensation Fund
Those who have been a victim of a crime may qualify for compensation from the state through the Bureau of Victim Compensation (BVC). The BVC will pay for damages relating to the crime including things such as medically related expenses, property damage, lost wages, loss of support, and disability. The application must be completed in one year. The BVC will only cover expense related to the crime for a maximum of three years after the date of the crime. The BVC is meant as a means of providing compensation when there are no other options available. It is not meant as additional income. Therefore, if the victim gets a settlement or judgment awarded as damages for the crime, any money paid out by the BVC will be subrogated. This means that the victim would have to pay out of the settlement or judgment any money that the BVC has paid out on the victim’s behalf.
The BVC will also rely on the insurance company to pay medical expenses before it pays. The BVC may issue a waiver that obligates the victim’s health insurance provider to pay the medical expenses. In which case, the BVC will only intervene, if the insurance company sends a denial of coverage letter to the beneficiary for any medical expense coverage. Any money which is paid out of the victim’s compensation fund will be subrogated from any settlement the victim receives. This would include any out of pocket expenses not medically related, as well as any money received for disability compensation. The waiver provided by BVC (please see the statute below) will cover all medical expenses including deductibles and co-pays. All medical expenses will be covered only by the insurance company. Most health insurance companies will also subrogate. Although, the ability of your insurance company to subrogate will likely depend on what is included in your individual policy. Therefore, in most cases costs paid by either the BVC or the health insurance provider will have to be reimbursed, if the victim receives a settlement or judgment in their favor.
Statute- Victim Assistance
FS 960.16 Subrogation - Payment of an award pursuant to this chapter shall subrogate the state, to the extent of such payment, to any right of action accruing to the claimant or to the victim or intervenor to recover losses directly or indirectly resulting from the crime with respect to which the award is made. Causes of action which shall be subrogated under this section include, but are not limited to, any claim for compensation under any insurance provision, including an uninsured motorist provision, when such claim seeks to recover losses directly or indirectly resulting from the crime with respect to which the award is made.
The Florida Statute for Crime Victim Exemption creates a waiver of deductibles and co-pays.
624.128 Crime victims exemption.--Any other provision of the Florida Statutes to the contrary notwithstanding, the deductible or copayment provision of any insurance policy shall not be applicable to a person determined eligible pursuant to the Florida Crimes Compensation Act, excluding s. 960.28.
For more information on the BVC, please see: http://www.myfloridalegal.com/Engviccmp.pdf
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