You may be familiar with Florida’s four-year statute of limitations on filing a car accident lawsuit, but you are probably not aware of another crucial deadline — the 14-day time limitation on getting medical treatment for your injuries. For some auto crashes, the deadline will not be an issue because you are badly hurt and need emergency care. However, for certain types of injuries, victims may not experience pain or other symptoms for quite some time – making the 14-day time limit an important factor.
A Miami car accident attorney can explain the laws and relevant legal concepts in more detail, but you can read on for some background information.
Overview of Florida’s Insurance Laws
In general, there are two approaches to the insurance claims process if you are hurt in an auto crash:
- At-Fault: You would seek monetary through the responsible driver’s insurer by filing a third party claim.
- No-Fault: You file a first party claim with your own insurance company to recover compensation for your losses.
The Sunshine State is a no-fault jurisdiction. As such, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles requires motorists to carry “personal injury protection” (PIP) as part of their auto insurance coverage. In many car accident situations, you will go through your own insurer according to the provisions of your policy.
You Have 14 Days to Seek Medical Care
The 14-day rule is a factor when you are filing a PIP claim with your own insurance company. If you do not visit a health care provider within this time period, your insurer might – and probably will – deny compensation under your policy. Depending on the nature of your injuries, you might opt for the emergency room, an urgent care center, or your primary care physician to comply with the rule.
As long as you meet the 14-day rule and other requirements of the claims process, you can recover 80% of the costs of medical treatment through your PIP coverage. In some situations, you can even recover the full amount of coverage if you have an emergency medical condition. You are on the hook for these expenses if you do not visit a doctor within 14 days.
What to do if You are Hurt in a Crash
Getting medical treatment should be your first priority after an auto crash – for health reasons and the implications for your claim. You may still have options to seek compensation through your PIP coverage if you delayed more than 14 days, but you will need an experienced lawyer to persuade the insurer to pay out.
Set Up a Free Consultation with a Miami Car Accident Lawyer
The 14-day rule on seeking medical care is a great advantage to insurance companies, as it gives them a perfectly valid reason to deny your claim and pay you nothing. Our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA will aggressively fight for your rights, whether you are filing a claim with your own insurer or the company that covers another driver. Please contact our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL to schedule your no-cost case evaluation today.