Importance of a Medical Examination After an Auto Injury
People who receive what they believe to be minor injuries in a car accident are sometimes reluctant to seek medical treatment. However, deciding to forgo an examination right after the incident could have significant short- or long-term health and financial consequences.
Why Should I See a Doctor Right Away?
The many benefits of immediate medical treatment after an accident include:
- Ensuring emotional stability: Anyone who has ever been involved in a car accident, even a small fender-bender, will confirm that it's a frightening experience. The trauma can be more intense after a major crash. An examination can help determine how rattled you are and whether you require medical intervention to calm down.
- Recognizing the severity: Accident victims sometimes think their injuries are insignificant and don't require treatment. However, a slight headache or a small bump on the head could be a sign of a concussion that requires immediate attention. Only a trained medical professional can determine the extent of the injury.
- Finding evidence of hidden injuries: Not all accident-related injuries are obvious — symptoms may occur several weeks or months after the mishap in some situations. Immediate medical treatment can often uncover issues that could worsen over time, such as internal bleeding, traumatic brain damage or bone fractures.
- Documenting your injuries: Suppose your injuries result from another driver's negligence. An official medical report that's completed immediately after the accident provides essential information if you intend to file a lawsuit.
Services Covered by Florida Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance
Receiving insurance compensation is another of the benefits of immediate medical care. Florida is one of many states requiring proof of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage when registering a vehicle. PIP covers 80% of necessary and reasonable medical expenses up to $10,000, regardless of which driver caused the accident.
You're entitled to PIP protection if you seek medical services from an approved provider within the designated time frame, underscoring the importance of receiving immediate medical treatment after an accident.
Examples of the services typically covered by PIP include:
- Ambulance transportation
- Emergency room treatment
- Surgery and post-procedure physical therapy
- Rehabilitation services
- Primary care physician visits
- Mental health counseling
- Dental care
How Long Do I Have to See a Doctor After a Car Accident?
As mentioned, timeliness is crucial when getting auto accident urgent care to ensure you receive appropriate insurance compensation. States that offer PIP coverage typically have a statute of limitations when seeking medical treatment for auto accident-related injuries.
If you're in Florida, you have 14 days to visit an approved practitioner. If you wait longer, you could lose your rights to a claim under PIP. This time restriction makes it imperative to seek medical treatment as soon as possible, even if you're experiencing minor or no injury symptoms.