The minutes and the days that follow a car accident can be full of chaos and confusion as you figure out how to proceed next. No matter the size or damage of the accident you will most likely be juggling a lot of responsibilities from the accident scene to your car insurance company.
But one responsibility you should not forget about is making sure a medical professional examines you. This may seem obvious if you are seriously injured, but even if you are not, it is extremely important, especially in the state of Florida, to have a doctor examine you after a crash.
But why? How does this affect your insurance coverage even if you do not feel hurt right away or it was not your fault? Our car crash lawyer explains Florida’s Personal Injury Protection Insurance (PIP) 14-Day Rule:
Florida is one of a few states in the US that is considered a “no-fault” state. This means that no matter who was at fault for the auto accident, your own auto insurance policy will pay for the repairs, damages, lost wages, and medical expenses and not the driver’s insurance that was responsible for the accident.
Florida law requires all auto owners to carry personal injury protection insurance or PIP in the minimum amount of $10,000. Your insurance will then pay 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages up to $10,000. Additionally, PIP insurance provides $5,000 in death benefits. However, you cannot recover compensation for pain and suffering through PIP.
PIP insurance normally only covers $2,500 of the $10,000 unless you can be diagnosed with an “emergency medical condition.” By having an EMC, you can now be eligible for the full $10,000 in medical costs for your injuries.
It is extremely important to note that only these professions can diagnose an emergency medical condition:
If you seek medical care within 14 days of the accident and need maximum EMC coverage you must see one of these doctors.
PIP insurance also does not cover damage to your personal property. These damages are covered under an additional insurance coverage called Bodily Injury insurance.
You do not have to make a claim to your insurance company within 14 days but you do have to have had medical attention for PIP benefits to apply. If you’ve been involved in a car crash, call our personal injury law firm and we can support you through getting the best settlement for your injuries and make sure your medical care is covered.
Having a strict 14-day rule to seek medical attention may seem harsh, but there are actually two sensible reasons why this rule of PIP law makes sense for Florida drivers:
If you were severely injured after an accident you do not have to worry as you will probably immediately go to a hospital or see a doctor. But for those that feel they were not seriously injured; this is when Florida’s PIP rule is extremely important to understand.
A lot of auto accident injuries can show up days or weeks later and start out minimal and over time get more severe. If you do not seek medical attention with 14 days and these injuries appear after, your insurance company will DENY your claim for medical compensation. Make sure you are on the safe side and see a doctor no matter what so you have the documentation needed for your claim.
Living in a no-fault state like Florida can make auto insurance coverage a bit more complicated and complex. Navigating the other driver’s insurance, medical attention/compensation, and filing claims should not be something you should be worrying about, especially if you are injured seriously in a car crash.
Contact the attorneys at Mickey Keenan, PA today, and let us handle your insurance and claim. Call us at 813-871-1300 or contact our legal specialists for a free case review today.