Should I Go to the Doctor After My Florida Car Accident?

Health is the primary concern after a motor vehicle accident. 

After a car accident, the decision to visit a doctor is sometimes apparent because of severe injuries such as head trauma or fractures. Although paramedics often visit the scene to assess injuries, some injuries, such as soft tissue damage and whiplash, may not manifest until a victim gets home. It is essential to keep an eye on personal health in the days after a car crash. 

Millions of Americans visit the emergency department annually for accident-related injuries, and less than 10% of these visits result in hospital admission. 

When hurt in a Florida car crash, it is advised to immediately see a doctor for evaluation and prompt treatment. Go to a local doctor, an emergency room, or a specialist for any injuries other than minor aches. Visiting a doctor helps preserve health and creates a record of the damages. Additionally, car crash survivors should call a Boynton Beach Car accident lawyer for legal advice on filing a claim or lawsuit.

When making a legal claim for fair compensation, documentation helps build a solid case. However, all cases need to be filed within the allotted time limit.

Time Limits for Seeing a Doctor After a Florida Car Crash

After an accident, victims have 14 days to make an appointment with a doctor in Florida, according to state law. Failure to meet the 14-day deadline may preclude someone from the full benefits of a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance policy. 

The insurance company may reject a claim for damages after an automobile accident if one fails to have medical attention for injuries sustained. Legal representation after a car accident will help ensure everything is filed promptly.

Victims should be checked by a doctor immediately or at their earliest convenience after an accident, even if they feel fine and don’t notice any external injuries right away. 

Failure to see a doctor after a car accident may have adverse effects on a personal injury case because:

  • Injuries may seem less severe if someone fails to receive treatment. The insurance company can say that victims weren’t injured if they waited.
  • The longer someone waits, the more difficult it will be to attribute injuries to the accident. Insurance companies may try to say that injuries aren’t related to the automobile accident if someone waits months after the incident to visit the doctor.
  • Insurance companies could claim victims went to the doctor because an attorney insisted on trying to build a solid case.
  • The insurance company for the vehicle victims may argue victims could have avoided injuries had they sought medical attention sooner; this is known as “failure to mitigate damages.”

Accident victims in Florida should seek medical attention from approved healthcare providers to meet the qualification for insurance benefits. Call an experienced car accident lawyer in Boynton Beach, Florida, for legal guidance. 

Key Questions to Ask the Doctor

Once a car accident victim receives medical attention, these questions may help with recovery and building a case:

  1. What injuries did they suffer?
  2. What does the recovery process look like?
  3. Which other medical professionals can help with the injury?
  4. How will injuries affect the victim’s lifestyle?
  5. May they obtain copies of the medical records?

Keeping copies of medical records helps a victim track progress and assists doctors in deciding about future treatment. These records are also an asset when building a personal injury case.

PIP or No-Fault Insurance in Florida

Personal Injury Protection coverage or “no-fault insurance” is mandatory in certain states, including Florida. If someone sustains injuries in an accident worth up to $10,000, they could seek reimbursements from their insurance company if their case merits it and the claim is approved. 

If the accident was the victim’s fault, they will still be eligible to file a claim. Regardless of who was to blame, an automobile insurance policy should provide PIP coverage for medical expenses and lost wages.

Coverage amounts vary per policy. In Florida, the state law requires everyone to be insured for at least $10,000. This means victims might potentially exhaust PIP benefits after only one trip to the emergency room following an injury accident.

Common Delayed Onset Injuries After a Motor Vehicle Crash

After a vehicle crash, your body may go into “survival mode,” releasing adrenaline and epinephrine to help someone stay alive. An adrenaline rush causes the body to produce hormones that enhance blood flow to essential organs and direct the body’s attention toward survival. In doing so, the body diverts its attention away from whatever pain it may be experiencing, which may disguise the extent of injuries initially. 

Specific injuries may not become apparent for a few days after an accident, even if they happened during the collision. The following are examples of typically delayed onset injuries after a crash:

  • Headaches and migraines.
  • Whiplash.
  • Back pain.
  • Abdominal pain from internal injuries.
  • Confusion and loss of motor skills from a traumatic brain injury.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder.

It is best to seek medical attention immediately after any accident.

The Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in Florida

Florida car accident claims are subject to a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations dictates the amount of time that can pass before someone can file a case in court, but it does not affect how long someone has to wait to submit a claim to their insurer. 

The statute of limitations in Florida is four years from the date of injury for most personal injury lawsuits, including auto accidents. However, there are exceptions to this rule, including wrongful death and medical malpractice suits. The right to sue for damages resulting from an automobile accident is barred if the statute of limitations has run. 

A seasoned Florida automobile accident attorney can help clarify Florida’s statute of limitations and ensure victims meet the set deadlines.

Steps to Take After a Car Accident Injury in Florida

People injured in car crashes in Florida should follow the steps below:

  1. File an accident report with relevant law enforcement.
  2. See a qualified doctor for evaluation and treatment within 14 days after the crash.
  3. If actions were because of another party’s negligent act, speak to an experienced car accident lawyer.

A person may still be able to make a personal injury claim even after they have delayed medical care. A lawsuit may be the best option for recovering damages for injuries, lost earnings, and other financial losses.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

Even if you don’t think you need immediate medical attention after a vehicle accident in Florida, victims should be checked on immediately after a crash. Diagnosing injuries such as internal bleeding, nerve damage, or a fractured spine might save a victim’s life. 

Unfortunately, vehicle accidents are incredibly inconvenient, but pursuing legal action doesn’t have to be. 

The experienced attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers offer assistance in choosing a doctor, filing for no-fault benefits, and seeking financial compensation after a vehicle crash. Boynton Beach Car accident lawyers will walk you through the steps of filing a personal injury claim and hiring a lawyer after a vehicle accident. Schedule a free consultation by calling (561) 800-8000 today.

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