How Long Do You Have To Seek Medical Attention After an Orlando Car Accident?
If you have been injured in a car accident in Orlando, it is important to seek prompt medical attention right away. Under Florida law, you must seek medical care within 14 days of the injury-causing incident, or you will likely lose your ability to claim your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits.
The Orlando car accident lawyers at Colling Gilbert Wright have helped individuals and families across Florida seek the justice and compensation they deserve after a wreck. We are committed to helping our clients recover the full compensation they need to move forward.
Do Not Wait to Get Approved Medical Care
Under PIP law, you must receive “initial services and care” within two weeks of an accident if you want to acquire benefits through your PIP coverage. Various types of medical attention can apply for this requirement, as long as you get medical attention from a qualified health care professional.
Qualified health care providers may include:
- A medical doctor
- An emergency medical technician
- A chiropractor
- A dentist
Keep in mind that visiting a massage therapist, physical therapist, or any care provider not specifically identified in the statute is unlikely to meet the criteria. If you do not seek care from a qualified health care provider as mentioned above, an insurer will likely deny your claim, and prevent you from receiving the important benefits you need.
To ensure your health and to meet the qualifications specified in Florida’s PIP 14-day Rule, it is in your best interest to see a doctor as soon as possible after a crash.
PIP 14-Day Rule and Payout Limits in Florida
Florida has established limits on the benefits available through a personal injury protection claim. Under these rules, if you received treatment within 14 days, and:
- Suffered an emergency medical condition, you may receive the maximum payout available from your PIP coverage
- Suffered only non-emergency injuries, you may only receive $2,500 in benefits
Accident victims should have at least $10,000 in coverage available to them. While this is the minimum amount of required PIP coverage, you may carry a larger policy.
Waiting to Seek Medical Attention Can Have Negative Consequences
Why is it important to seek medical attention promptly after an Orlando car accident? Delaying your diagnosis and treatment can have a number of negative consequences. These negative consequences include:
- You Can Prolong Your Recovery – Waiting to seek treatment means that you will need to wait longer to get better. With many types of traumatic injuries, obtaining treatment or beginning rehabilitation promptly can be important for keeping the recovery period as short as possible. Ignoring your injuries for too long could make the recovery process more difficult (and potentially more expensive) as well.
- You Can Increase Your Risk of Long-Term Complications – Delaying treatment can also increase your risk of long-term complications. In some cases, this can result from the delay in treatment itself. In others, it can result from exacerbating your injury or suffering a secondary injury. For example, if you suffered a concussion in your car accident, second impact syndrome is a very real risk. Likewise, if you suffered a bone fracture or soft tissue injury, favoring the injured area (or ignoring your injury) could lead to additional trauma.
- You Can Struggle to Collect Financial Compensation – If you wait to seek medical attention after your car accident, this could make it more difficult to collect the financial compensation you deserve. If you do not have medical records that prove when you suffered your injuries, this will give the insurance companies the chance to argue that your injuries aren’t accident-related. It will also allow them to claim that your decision to delay treatment is to blame for your heightened medical expenses.
The Statute of Limitations in Florida
In Florida, all car accident claims are subject to a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations establishes the deadline for filing a lawsuit in court—not filing a claim with your insurance company. In Florida, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases, including car accidents, is four years from the date the injury occurred. The statute of limitations does vary, however, such as with cases of medical malpractice and wrongful death. If the statute of limitations for your car accident claim expires, you won’t be able to seek any compensation for your accident-related losses. An Orlando car accident lawyer can answer your questions about Florida’s statute of limitations and ensure the applicable deadlines in your case are met.
Prioritize Your Health
It is never too late to see a doctor. If your symptoms persist, you should seek medical care right away; it is better late than never. You shouldn’t feel anxious or shy about telling your doctor that you waited to schedule an appointment. Your doctor is there to help, and the most important thing is that you tell your doctor what happened and when it happened so that he or she can provide an accurate diagnosis.
While it is never too late to see a doctor after a car accident in Orlando, you should not wait any longer than necessary. If you are experiencing symptoms and you haven’t sought medical attention, you should do so right away.
Talk to an Orlando Car Accident Lawyer for Free
If you have questions about what to do after a car accident in the Orlando area, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a free, no-obligation consultation. One of our attorneys will be happy to explain everything you need to know. To discuss your situation in confidence as soon as possible, call (800) 766-1000 or tell us how we can reach you online now.