When Is It Too Late To Go to the Doctor After a Car Accident?
Seeking a doctor after a car accident is a crucial step that shouldn’t be delayed. Many victims of car accidents in Orlando and beyond underestimate the importance of this action, sometimes leading to complications in both their health and legal claims.
In Florida, particularly, the timing of medical attention post-accident can have significant implications. Though prompt medical evaluation is always recommended, Florida’s 14-Day Rule makes seeking medical attention vital to your pursuit of compensation for your injuries.
Should you suffer an injury in a car accident, there are steps you can take to prioritize your health and bolster your claim. Seeing a doctor after a car accident, asking them key questions, and doing it all within the proper timeline will help support your physical health and your claim for just compensation. However, contacting an Orlando car accident lawyer will also be invaluable.
Call Colling Gilbert Wright today at (407) 712-7300 to schedule a FREE case evaluation. We are proud to represent our neighbors in Orlando and throughout Florida.
Why Is It Important To Seek Medical Attention After an Accident?
Immediately following a car accident, seek medical attention, even if you feel fine. Injuries, particularly internal ones, may not be immediately apparent. The adrenaline rush during an accident can mask pain and symptoms, leading to a delay in injury realization.
Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for your health and can also impact your legal claim. Documented medical records soon after the accident provide concrete evidence of the injuries sustained, which is essential to insurance claims and possible legal proceedings.
What Is the Florida 14-Day Rule?
Florida law specifically emphasizes the urgency of seeking medical attention with the 14-Day Rule. Under Florida Statutes § 627.736(1)(a), individuals involved in a car accident must receive medical care within 14 days of the accident to be eligible for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. Failure to meet this deadline can result in the denial of PIP coverage, which can be a significant financial setback given the high cost of medical treatments and potential loss of wages.
We want to make it clear that if you are injured or unwell, it is never “too late” to get medical attention. Your health should always be the priority. However, if you wait until the 15th day after a car accident, you may be unable to receive compensation for your medical expenses through your PIP policy.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor After a Car Accident
After being involved in a car accident, it’s imperative to have a thorough medical exam. During your visit, consider asking your doctor the following questions. Their answers can provide important information for your health and any potential legal claims:
What specific injuries have I sustained?
Understanding the exact nature of your injuries is pivotal to your recovery and the success of your claim. This includes knowing whether they are soft tissue injuries, fractures, concussions, or something else.
Are there any potential long-term effects of these injuries?
Some injuries may have lasting impacts. Knowing this can influence your recovery plan and any compensation claims.
What is the recommended course of treatment for my injuries?
This information is vital for your recovery and for documenting the necessity of your medical expenses.
How long will the recovery process take?
An estimated recovery timeline can help in planning your work and personal life after a car accident. It also helps in understanding the duration of medical care required.
Should I look out for specific symptoms or complications?
Knowing potential warning signs can help you seek prompt medical attention if your condition worsens.
Will I need any follow-up visits or ongoing treatment?
Continuous treatment can impact your daily life and financial situation. It’s essential to understand this for planning and claims purposes.
Can these injuries prevent me from performing my usual work duties?
If your injuries affect your ability to work, this could be crucial for a lost wages claim.
Is there a need for any medical equipment or home modifications?
Necessary adjustments to accommodate your injury should be documented for compensation claims.
Can you provide detailed medical records and a letter stating how the injuries are related to the car accident?
Detailed medical records are significant for insurance claims and potential legal proceedings.
What kind of physical activities should I avoid during my recovery?
Understanding limitations can prevent further injury and is also important information for your employer and insurance claim.
Remember, the information obtained from these questions can be critical in building a robust car accident claim. Additionally, you must adhere to your doctor’s advice and treatment plan. Failure to do so could affect your recovery and ability to pursue full compensation. It’s also advisable to keep a personal diary detailing your symptoms and challenges during your recovery, as this can be useful evidence in your claim.
Read More: Should I See a Doctor After a Car Accident?
How Long Do I Have To File a Car Accident Injury Claim?
In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident injury claim is generally 2 years from the date of the accident, as stated in § 95.11(4). However, it’s advisable to start the process as soon as possible. Delaying can not only hinder your recovery process due to lack of compensation for medical expenses but also affect the collection of evidence and witness testimonies, which are vital for strengthening your claim.
How Can an Orlando Car Accident Lawyer Help?
An experienced Orlando car accident lawyer can be invaluable after an accident for many reasons. These include:
- Guiding You Through Legal Processes: A skilled attorney can handle the complexities of the legal system, allowing you to use your energy to heal.
- Meeting Critical Deadlines: A lawyer will ensure compliance with requirements and statutes of limitations, such as Florida’s 14-Day Rule for medical treatment.
- Evidence Gathering: A car accident attorney will collect and organize the necessary evidence to support your claim.
- Negotiating with Insurers: Lawyers have vast experience handling negotiations with insurance companies for fair compensation.
- Maximizing Compensation: Car accident attorneys work to secure the fullest compensation you’re legally entitled to.
- Advocacy: A good lawyer will represent and advocate for your best interests, allowing you to concentrate on your health and recovery.
Contact Colling Gilbert Wright Today!
Do not hesitate to see a doctor after a car accident! You can seek medical attention at any time. However, to ensure you can pursue every avenue for compensation—act quickly. Get a medical evaluation within 14 days, even if you think you’re okay, and consult an Orlando car accident lawyer as soon as you are able.
At Colling Gilbert Wright, we understand the challenges and uncertainties you face after a car accident. Our team of dedicated Orlando car accident lawyers is here to support and guide you through every step of your legal journey. Contact us today for a FREE case evaluation.