Reasons Why You Need to Get Medical Attention After a Florida Car Accident
If you fail get medical help immediately after a Florida car wreck, even if you don’t think you’ve been injured, you could be hurting your chances of obtaining compensation for your injuries. Read on to learn more.
You May Not Feel an Injury Now, But You May LaterOften, people who are in car accidents don't seek medical attention only to discover days, weeks, or even months later that they have actually sustained an injury. Even if they do think they've been injured, they may shrug it off as minor only to find out later that they are now facing a lifetime of pain and problems.
For example, brain injuries are notoriously difficult to detect. You may suffer a head trauma in a car crash, but symptoms such as dizziness, headaches and confusion may not present themselves until further down the road. Having a doctor evaluate your condition immediately can help you determine what steps you need to take, and what medical care and treatment may be necessary to help you heal.
Insurance Companies Will Try to Get OverAdditionally, insurance companies may try to get you to settle right away, well before you understand the full toll an accident will have on your life, including the extent and full costs of necessary medical treatment and rehabilitation. Without medical advice, you may settle for far less than you deserve to compensate you for the true medical costs and other losses arising out of the injuries you've sustained.
In Florida, You Could Lose Your PIP BenefitsFlorida operates under what is called a "no-fault" insurance system. This means that for certain injuries and losses up to a specified amount, you seek compensation from your own insurance company rather than the other driver's insurer, regardless of who may have been at fault for the accident. All Florida drivers must carry a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. The PIP coverage provided by your policy is "primary," meaning that it is the first place you'll look for compensation after an accident.
However, 2012 changes to Florida law make it so that if you are not evaluated by a qualifying medical professional (EMT or paramedic, physician, dentist, chiropractor, hospital, or hospital-owned medical clinic) and determined to have sustained serious injury that requires further care within 14 days of your accident, you may forfeit your PIP benefits.
Your Medical Treatment Could Be Key in Your Personal Injury CaseIf you file a car accident lawsuit against the driver or other individuals who caused your injuries, you will need to prove the extent of your injuries and damages. Seeing a doctor as soon as possible after your accident will provide the most complete and accurate record of your injuries. Memories may fade but medical records do not.
As noted, getting medical attention and treatment after a car accident is essential. But so too is contacting an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can immediately begin to evaluate your case, collect and preserve critical evidence, and help you obtain compensation for your losses.