If you are filing an auto accident injury claim in Florida, you must take action as soon as possible, due to the restrictions put in place by the Florida 14-day accident law. If you fail to follow the protocols outlined in the law, you may lose your chance at receiving compensation for your injuries and damages. You need an experienced auto accident attorney in South Florida to aggressively fight your case in court immediately.
Without legal representation and an understanding of the Florida 14-day accident law, you stand to lose what could be thousands of dollars. Don't let another person's negligence take this away from you due to a formal technicality. If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to a significant settlement after filing an auto accident injury claim. But you must act now.
What is the Florida 14-Day Accident Law?
In the state of Florida, if you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, the law states that you must receive initial medical services and care within 14 days to qualify for personal injury protection benefits. If you do not seek this care, legally, insurance companies have the right to deny any claims you make regarding the accident in the future. They have the right to refuse payment for medical bills that would otherwise be covered by your personal injury protection plan in Florida.
Florida Statute 626.736 outlines the stipulations of this law.
Additionally, if you do not seek medical care within these 14 days and you choose to file an auto accident injury claim against the other driver, it may make the case much more difficult to win in court. Not seeking medical care for an extended period leaves the question of when and how badly you were injured with both an opposing lawyer and a judge. It could hurt your chances of receiving a settlement.
What to Do if You Are in an Auto Accident in Florida
While the Florida 14-day accident law states that you have two weeks to see a medical professional following an injury from a car accident, you should seek care immediately. The reason for this is that many injuries are not immediately apparent, for a variety of reasons.
When a person is involved in a traumatic event such as an auto accident, they often go into shock. Adrenaline pumps through the body, which lessens the amount of pain that you feel at that exact point in time. You may feel okay when you are at the scene of the accident, only to realize over the next few days that you are injured.
Delayed onset of pain and symptoms make it crucial that you seek medical attention as soon as you can after an accident. If possible, go to urgent care or the emergency room immediately from the scene. You may also request medical attention from an EMS team at the scene to be evaluated on-site.
All of this information will be critical in fighting your case for an auto accident injury claim in court. The sooner you seek medical care, the better, as it provides stronger evidence that your injury is a direct result of the accident.
Additionally, make sure that the police are contacted and that a report is filed with the department. Your lawyer will need this information at a later time.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance in Florida
Personal Injury Protection in Florida (PIP) is an element of standard motor vehicle insurance. It covers medical bills from emergency services, hospitals, diagnostic studies, a percentage of your lost wages and more. Every driver in the state of Florida is required to carry PIP as part of their insurance policy. The minimum amount of coverage must be at least $10,000.
Under the law, you must receive treatment within 14-days to be eligible to receive these benefits. If you have suffered non-emergency injuries, the maximum that PIP is required to payout is $2,500. If you experience emergency injuries, you are legally eligible to receive the full coverage amount carried by the policy.
It's common that medical bills, especially ones that result from injuries requiring long-term treatment such as back and neck problems, may exceed this amount. For this reason, it is imperative that you hire a South Florida personal injury attorney experienced in auto accidents to help you file a personal injury claim.
Filing an auto accident personal injury claim is a way to bring a civil suit against the other driver to receive the full compensation that you deserve. A settlement may cover lost wages, damages incurred to your vehicle or property, as well as compensation for pain and suffering.
You can file an auto accident injury claim even if you have received a payment from an insurance policy with personal injury protection in Florida. Do not let the other driver or their insurance company attempt to tell you otherwise.
What to Do if an Insurance Company Denies a Personal Injury Claim
Sometimes, insurance companies deny personal injury claims. They may state that you have failed to provide sufficient documentation of your accident, injury, and treatment. Or, they may try to make the other driver's insurance company make the payment. Either way, you are entitled to fight back and get the compensation you deserve.
Whenever you submit a claim to an insurance company, an insurance adjuster will evaluate the number you are asking for to decide whether it is fair or if the company should make a counter-offer for less. Often, insurance companies try to pay as little as possible or even fully deny your claim. This is why it is essential to have a lawyer fighting on your behalf to ensure the insurance companies do not try to take advantage of your situation.
If they deny your claim, they must give you written notice as to why they are doing so. Make sure that all correspondence regarding auto accident injury claims is documented in writing. You may need to present this to your personal injury attorney later.
Remember, just because an insurance company denies your claim does not mean that you are unable to file a personal injury claim. You should hire an attorney as soon as possible after the accident to help guide you through the process of navigating the insurance system as well as seeking compensation from the negligent party.
What to Do if an Insurance Company Refuses to Pay a Claim
Unfortunately, insurance companies do sometimes refuse to pay a claim that has been filed. Again, they must provide you with a written explanation of their refusal with supporting arguments. Your insurance company and the negligent driver's insurance company may be in a battle over who should pay for the claim.
A refusal to pay is frustrating when filing an auto accident injury claim, especially if you have followed the Florida 14-day accident law.
If an insurance company refuses to pay for a claim, you have several options. First, make sure that you have an expert auto accident attorney in South Florida on your side to fight for your rights. You may take the insurance company to small claims court, legal mediation, or file a lawsuit against them to seek a settlement.
Take Action Today
If you have been injured in an auto accident, take action immediately. Do not wait to see how you feel in a few days. Do not delay medical treatment. The Florida 14-day accident law mandates that to receive personal injury protection benefits from an insurance policy, you must receive initial care within that amount of time.
Additionally, the more promptly you receive services and care, the better your auto accident injury claim will fare in court.
Speak privately to an experienced auto accident lawyer in South Florida for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.