You’ve been in a car accident, and you feel OK. You can “tough it out” with a stiff neck, why go to the doctor?
Under Florida law (Florida Statute § 627.736 (a)) you must seek medical attention within 14 days.
“…(a) Medical benefits.—Eighty percent of all reasonable expenses for medically necessary medical, surgical, X-ray, dental, and rehabilitative services, including prosthetic devices and medically necessary ambulance, hospital, and nursing services if the individual receives initial services and care pursuant to subparagraph 1. within 14 days after the motor vehicle accident…”627.736 Required personal injury protection benefits; exclusions; priority; claims. (a) Medical Benefits
The problem with this 14-day rule is that soft tissue damage is the most prevalent form of injury after a car accident, but it could take weeks before you begin to feel the effects of the damage. If you have been in a car accident, that does not appear to be bad enough to require hospitalization, it is always a good idea to see a medical professional within 72 hours or less. This shows a concerted effort on your part to the courts, and to the insurance company.
Unfortunately, that car accident probably took time out of your workday, and most of us have full days, so we work like crazy to catch up from time lost, and only a few days later do we feel a little stiff. The adrenaline of the accident can actually stop pain receptors from having a person recognize that they are injured. Next thing you know, the time has slipped by, and you’ve missed the deadline for your insurance company covering injuries from your car accident.
If you seek medical attention, that visit does not come out of your pocket. No matter who was at fault, any chiropractor, or emergency room, has a process worked out and running smoothly to bill your insurance company in the case of the accident. If you manage to go to a doctor like a chiropractor that doesn’t do direct billing to the insurance company, you may not be at the right doctor. At least for chiropractors, injuries from auto accidents are a major part of most practices. They know the billing system.
Go, seek help, as soon as possible. There have been countless times when individuals have gone to seek treatment late, because the symptoms didn’t manifest early, and had the insurance company deny their claims thanks to the 14-day rule.
The two most important things you can do after an auto accident is to seek medical attention and to protect your rights from recalcitrant insurance companies by involving a Personal Injury Attorney. Neither of those actions should cost you anything out of pocket. Protect Your Rights. Insurance companies love your premium payments, paying for your auto accident injuries, not so much.