What Should I Do If I Declined Medical Care After a Car Accident in Tampa and Now My Back Hurts?
One of the first things good attorneys will tell you is to always seek medical treatment immediately after a car accident. There are reasons for this. First, it’s important to make sure you’re okay. You could be suffering from internal bleeding or a traumatic brain injury. Second, you want to document any injuries you have in case you file a suit. Finally, there are rules and laws that say you have to.
If you’re in a car accident in Tampa, FL, you are required to get medical attention right away. Florida law states that in order to get benefits through personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, you must:
- Seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident
- See a qualified healthcare provider
The injuries must be caused by the accident. There are a few other qualifiers that we will examine here.
Tampa Car Accident Lawyers Understand the PIP Laws in Florida
Tampa, FL car accident lawyers know Florida law. If you are in a car accident in Florida, you may need to file a claim under PIP. PIP is personal injury protection insurance. The law limits how you qualify for PIP. It also limits how much you can claim under PIP. The law does require all drivers to carry regular auto insurance. However, drivers are not required to maintain PIP insurance. This does not mean it isn’t smart to do so.
You may have been in an accident with someone who either has no insurance or leaves the scene. You will have to file a claim with PIP. If you don’t have PIP, you will have to hope your primary health insurance will cover you. Remember too, health insurance won’t cover vehicle damage. You may also have out-of-pocket medical bills.
The law limits claims under PIP to:
- Non-emergency issues which you can claim up to $2,500
- Emergency medical conditions which pay out up to $10,000.
One of the big reasons the state now requires you to get medical treatment is to prevent fake claims. There was a rise in car insurance claims for staged accidents in Florida. Therefore, the state decided to make it harder to get paid for fake accidents.
Why You Should Retain an Auto Accident Attorney in Tampa
If you are in an accident and decline treatment, you could have issues later. Let’s say you’re in an accident and refuse treatment. Two and a half weeks later your neck and back start to hurt. It is too late to get paid under PIP. You didn’t seek medical treatment within 14 days. Your claim is now waived. If there is nobody else to pursue, you are out of luck. You will have to swallow your injuries and costs.
Some of the other requirements of Tampa, FL law have to do with the type of treatment you get. It is important to know this so you aren’t denied benefits. Here is a breakdown of what is considered a medical condition. The situation must:
- Endanger health or wellbeing
- Impair major body function
- Cause serious dysfunction of an organ or body part
If you don’t meet any of these criteria, your claim will be limited to $2,500. Even if you do meet these criteria, you still must meet the qualified treatment standards. Under the PIP law in Florida, your treatment must be a done by:
- Medical doctor
Holistic doctors are not on this list. Nor are acupuncturists. It is important you talk to your attorney. If 14 days go by and you don’t get qualified treatment, your claim will be barred. When you have back pain, it is important to go to a qualified provider. Back pain can get worse over time.
If You are Refused Coverage, Call a Back-Injury Attorney
So, what do you do if you do everything right and are still denied coverage? It is time to seek legal representation. Call an auto accident attorney in Tampa, FL for advice. We recommend you do so before the 14 days are up. This way, you can still get the qualified treatment you need.
They will review your case and fight the insurance company for you. The experienced lawyers at Winters & Yonker know how to handle a back-injury case. They have decades of experience handling car accidents.
Call the office today. The initial consultation is free. Let the attorneys at Winters & Yonker answer your questions and concerns. You pay nothing until you win your case.