Florida’s 14-Day Car Accident Law
Under Florida law, motorists who have been injured in car accidents are required to seek medical care within 14 days of their collision. Those who fail to take this step could end up missing out on the chance to recover compensation for their accident-related losses, so if you were recently injured in a car crash, it is important to contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyer who can ensure that your claim is not denied because you failed to report your injuries.
No-Fault Auto Insurance
Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state, which means that car accident victims must file a claim with their own insurers following a collision, regardless of who was actually at fault for the accident. Specifically, injured motorists who have complied with the state’s minimum insurance requirement will need to first attempt to recover compensation under their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) plans, as these policies cover medical expenses and lost wages.
What is the 14-Day Accident Law?
In Florida, car accident victims who wish to file a claim under their PIP policies must seek medical care within 14 days of their accident or risk having their claim denied. To qualify as medical care under this law, an injured motorist must be able to prove that he or she sought initial services and care from a qualified healthcare provider, such as:
- A medical doctor;
- An emergency medical technician;
- A chiropractor; or
- A dentist.
Unfortunately, many car accident victims are not initially aware that they have suffered an injury and so may not seek medical care until the 14 day deadline has already passed. For this reason, motorists who have been involved in collisions in Florida are encouraged to obtain medical care as soon as possible after their crash, even if they do not initially show any symptoms.
Coverage Under PIP Policies
The amount of compensation that a person can recover under his or her PIP policy depends on the severity of that individual’s injuries. For instance, those who suffer an emergency medical condition could recover up to 80% of all expenses for medically necessary services and up to 60 percent of lost income and earning capacity up to the limits of their policies. However, in order to qualify as an emergency medical condition, a person must be suffering from a serious medical condition that includes severe pain and that, in the absence of immediate medical attention, would result in:
- Serious jeopardy to the person’s health;
- Serious impairment to the person’s bodily functions; or
- Serious dysfunction of an organ or body part.
Those who are found to have suffered only a minor injury, such as a bruise, will be limited to $2,500 in recovery. Fortunately, the determination of whether an injury is serious doesn’t need to be made within 14 days of the accident. Instead, injured motorists need only seek medical attention during that time to qualify for compensation.
Why You Should Contact a Florida Car Accident Lawyer
Please call 954-566-9919 to speak with one of the experienced Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers at Boone & Davis today to learn more about your legal options following a car crash.