How Long Do You Have to See a Doctor After an Auto Accident In Florida?
According to Florida Statute § 627.736, you have 14 days to see a doctor after an accident. If you fail to seek medical treatment for your auto accident injuries, the insurance company may deny your accident claim. A Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyer can help you recover the benefits you need.
Seek Medical Care Before the 14-Day Deadline Runs Out
Under Florida’s personal injury protection (PIP) law, you must receive medical care within 14 days of the date of the accident if you want to receive compensation for your medical expenses or other damages. Your PIP benefits can cover you if you receive any of the following necessary care:
- Medical care
- Ambulance transportation
- Surgical services
- Dental care
- Rehabilitative services
Make sure that you receive medical attention from an approved healthcare provider in Florida, such as the following:
- ER technician
- Surgeon or specialist
- Personal physician
- Physical therapist
If you seek treatment from a specialist that is not listed in the Florida statute, you may not meet the qualifications for insurance benefits. Therefore, you should get medical attention from your doctor or staff at an emergency room. You may want to visit multiple medical facilities such as the ER and your personal physician to ensure that you have received proper care.
Note: Even if you think that your injuries are too minor for medical treatment, you may still want to visit your doctor. Some symptoms of injuries may not appear until days or weeks after the accident. A visit to the hospital will confirm whether you need further medical attention.
Insurance Payout Limits Under the Florida PIP 14-Day Rule
The Florida 14-day statute outlines limits of the insurance payout benefit available to you. If you receive treatment within 14 days, you may be eligible for the following PIP coverage:
$2,500 for Non-Emergency Injuries
Under the statute, you are eligible to receive up to $2,500 in benefits for “non-emergency” treatment. Non-emergency treatment typically includes any type of care at a medical facility other than an emergency room, ICU, or surgical center.
Emergency Medical Condition
If you visit an emergency room, you can receive the maximum amount provided in your insurance plan. Payouts vary depending on your insurance provider and what type of coverage you currently carry. Check with your insurance company to find out what you are eligible to receive.
PIP covers only 80 percent of your medical expenses in the state of Florida. For example, if your medical bills totaled $10,000, your PIP would pay out $8,000. The rest of your expenses may be covered under your health insurance policy.
Economic Benefits or Lost Wages
If your auto accident caused you to miss work and lose pay, your PIP insurance will provide up to 60 percent of your lost wages.
Florida PIP Death Benefits
There is also a PIP death benefit that covers funeral and burial expenses in addition to emergency medical expenses. The benefit pays next of kin up to $5,000 for funeral expenses.
Defining Emergency Medical Conditions Under the Florida Statutes
Under Florida Statute § 395.002(8), an emergency medical condition falls under the following guidelines:
- It endangers your health or well-being.
- It seriously impairs one or more bodily functions.
- It causes serious dysfunction of a body part or organ.
Your medical reports will confirm that you received treatment as a result of an emergency medical condition. As you long as you received care within 14 days, your doctor can verify that your accident resulted in emergency care.
What to Do If the Insurance Company Denies Your Claim
Your insurance company may review your case and decide to deny your claim. As a result, you may have to pay your medical bills out of pocket. Insurance companies deny medical coverage for reasons such as:
- You did not receive medical care within the Florida 14-day statute of limitations.
- Your injuries were not severe enough to be classified as an emergency medical condition.
- Your injuries were not related to the accident, as you claimed.
If this happens to you, an auto accident lawyer in South Florida can help you file a claim against the insurance company to receive your benefits. To ensure you get the benefits you deserve, you may want to consult an attorney to discuss your case and explore your legal options.
Filing a Claim Against Another Party
If someone else is responsible for an auto accident injury you suffered, you can file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, or noneconomic damages. The value of your claim depends on the circumstances of the accident and your total financial losses. Examples of injury cases we handle involving auto accidents in Florida include:
- Car accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bus accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Commercial vehicle accidents
You can file an auto accident injury claim when you sustain injuries from someone else’s negligence or careless actions. An auto accident lawyer can help you build a case, submit a claim, determine the value of your losses, and negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company. If the other party’s insurer refuses to offer a fair settlement, we can take your case to court.
Get Help from an Auto Accident Lawyer in South Florida
The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato offers legal assistance for victims of car accidents and other types of injuries. A Fort Myers auto accident lawyer can review your case and help you file your claim. You do not have to take on the insurance company by yourself. Get legal representation from a personal injury attorney that genuinely cares about your case.
Call us today at 954-633-8270 and get a free, no-obligation case review.