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What Is the 14-Day Rule?

If you're a crash victim, the 14-day rule states you only have 14-days after a traffic accident to seek medical attention for any injuries. Wait any longer, and you could have trouble trying to secure medical benefits.
Injured man shakes hands with attorney

If you’re involved in a car accident, you have two weeks to seek a diagnosis of your injuries.

Florida’s no-fault insurance laws can seem a bit confusing, especially when you’re dealing with the after-effects of a collision. Florida Statute 627.736, the no-fault insurance law regarding personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, is essential to understand.

If you’re a crash victim, you only have 14-days after a traffic accident to seek medical attention for any injuries.

Wait any longer, and you could have trouble trying to secure medical benefits. Your insurance company can deny your claim so you could lose your right to any compensation.

Subsection 1a of the statute states that an insurance policy must cover at least 80 percent of a victim’s medical-necessary care providing the individual receives the initial medical services and care within 14 days after the accident. As long as you comply with the 14-day personal injury protection rule, your medical benefits include:

  • Up to $10,000 in medical and disability benefits
  • Up to $5,000 in death benefits
  • Up to 80% coverage for surgeries, x-rays, and rehabilitative services
  • Up to 80% coverage for ambulatory fees, hospital visits, and nursing care

The 14-day rule exists for many reasons.

For one, it serves as a way to help stop insurance fraud. An auto insurance company can deny medical benefits if someone injures his back while moving furniture but tries to blame the injury on a car accident that happened six weeks ago.

Receiving prompt medical care is also the optimum way to diagnose an injury accurately and help prevent any damage from becoming worse and incurring higher treatment costs.

Even if you don’t think you’ve suffered an injury, it’s always wise to immediately go to the hospital or see your doctor.

After a traumatic event like a car accident, adrenaline – the fight or flight hormone—surges through your body, often masking initial pain. You could be injured and not realize it right away.

Many injuries can also have delayed symptoms, including nerve injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and back/neck injuries.

To protect your health and ensure you receive personal injury protection benefits, a medical doctor must diagnose you with an “emergency medical condition” within 14 days. The good news is the choice is yours; you can go to the hospital or opt to see your physician as long as you do it within those first 14 days. However, you must seek treatment by a licensed medical professional. As of 2013, acupuncturists and massage therapists no longer qualify as healthcare providers under Florida law.

For more information on the 14-day rule or other car insurance laws in Florida, you can ask the advice of proven, trial-tested personal injury attorneys like those at Fernandez & Hernandez Attorneys At Law. You can reach them 24/7 by calling 813.755.9500. Hablan español. To learn more, visit www.InjuryLawyersOfTampa.com.

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