The Florida PIP statute outlines the amount of coverage of auto insurance that all drivers are required to have in Florida. The sole purpose of PIP is to ensure that every injured person in an accident is able to obtain some type of medical coverage without having to determine who was “at fault” for the initial motor vehicle accident.
It is important to note that PIP benefits can lawfully be withheld by your insurance company if you do not seek prompt medical care. Specifically, you have two weeks to seek treatment following an auto accident in order to qualify for PIP benefits.
You do not have to go to the emergency room. You may seek medical treatment from a chiropractor, hospital facility, emergency transport service, medical doctor, doctor of osteopath, or dentist. Be sure to tell the medical provider that your injuries are related to an automobile accident. If you suffered an emergency medical condition, you can receive the maximum payout available under PIP. Fla. Stat. § 395.002 defines an “emergency medical condition” as instances where a victim suffers acute symptoms that require immediate medical attention including symptoms that: endanger health and wellbeing, impair a major bodily function or cause serious dysfunction of any organ or body part.
I suggest that you go to a doctor within 14 days after the accident even if you aren’t sure whether you are injured because often symptoms will appear later. If you do not seek any medical treatment, you may be waiving your rights to PIP coverage under the Florida PIP statute. If you miss the 14-day period, you should still seek treatment. The 14-day rule is just for your PIP protection. If you were hit by another driver, they will likely have bodily injury coverage from which you may be able to obtain compensation. Just because you miss the 14-day period you have not lost your right to bring an action. Typically, you have four years to bring an action for negligence.
If you have questions about recovering benefits from your PIP policy after a car accident, the legal team from the Law Offices of Suarez & Montero can help. Contact us today at 786 Lawyers for a free consultation!