Florida’s 14-day accident law requires car accident victims to receive medical treatment from a qualified healthcare provider within 14 days of the crash in order to qualify for benefits under their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy. The statute clarifies that a qualified healthcare provider includes the following:
- Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs)
If you fail to meet this deadline, you may be ineligible to receive no-fault insurance PIP benefits. There are certain types of care that are not mentioned by the statute, so they likely would not be considered to have been performed by a qualified healthcare provider:
- Massage therapy
- Any other type of treatment or therapy not specifically mentioned in the statute
If you fail to receive medical treatment from a qualified healthcare provider within 14 days of your accident and thereby become ineligible to receive PIP benefits, your only recourse to receive financial compensation for your injuries may be to file a car accident lawsuit.
Car crash victims that can prove that another driver or entity was negligent in causing the accident in which they were injured may be able to receive compensation to fully cover their medical bills and other damages such as lost wages and pain and suffering.
However, if you are found to have been the only one responsible for the accident, then you would not be able to recover any financial compensation by means of a lawsuit. And without receiving any PIP benefits, you could be on the hook for all of the damages you suffered.
Seek medical attention as soon as possible after the crash, no matter how you feel. This is because, given that you were just involved in a potentially life-changing automobile crash, your adrenaline will be working on overdrive. You may not feel any pain until hours after the accident, when you are finally able to calm down. And some serious injuries may not surface until days later. You may have been seriously injured and not even realize it. Delaying medical treatment can potentially cost you and your family a significant amount of money.
On the other hand, let’s say that the accident was caused by another driver or entity, and you can prove this. Even so, it is still crucial to receive medical attention as soon as possible following the crash. The longer you wait between the day of the accident and when you first seek medical treatment, the more opportunity you give the insurance company to poke holes in your claim.
Even if you suffered serious injuries in the accident, the insurance company will question whether or not your injuries are as serious as you claim, because you would have sought medical attention immediately if that were the case. Similarly, the insurance company will also call into question whether or not your injuries were actually sustained in the accident at issue – rather than somewhere else – because of the delay.
These are classic strategies insurance companies employ when car accident victims do not immediately seek medical care, and they can significantly impact the amount of financial compensation that you ultimately receive.
If you have been involved in a crash, it is in your best interests to consult with an experienced Florida car accident lawyer as soon as possible. During a free consultation with the team at Kogan & DiSalvo, you will learn about the 14-day accident law, the strengths and weaknesses of your claim, any other pending legal deadlines, and an approximate financial value of your claim should you file a lawsuit.
Our experienced attorneys at Kogan & DiSalvo provide the honesty, individualized attention, and integrity that our clients deserve. We leverage our world-class pool of resources in our fight to achieve justice on behalf of our valued clients.