Many laws in Florida help its residents during recovery after auto accidents. One of them is the Florida 14-day accident law.
Learning about this rule will help you take better action after a car accident in Florida. Fortunately, you don’t have to go to another place for this information.
Let’s look at everything you must know about the Florida PIP 14-day rule.
Florida 14-Day Accident Law: What Is It?
One of the biggest trends in Florida is personal injury protection (PIP) fraud. It has been a significant problem for insurance companies due to which the Florida 14-day accident law has been implemented.
This law came into being in 2012 to tackle PIP insurance frauds. It may seem like a long time ago, but many people are still not aware of the Florida 14-day PIP rule.
The law states that after an auto accident, the injured parties have 14 days to seek treatment for their injuries. If they do that, they can file a PIP claim with their insurance company.
After investigation, the insurance company will cover the medical expenses, lost wages, and other types of bills for the injured party.
Remember Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to PIP. So by law, your insurance agency will have to pay your bills under PIP coverage if you have bought this policy.
Florida PIP 14-Day Rule: What Is The Goal?
There are three main goals of the Florida PIP 14-day rule to help the state’s residents. Here is what you must know about them:
1. Reduce Pip Insurance Fraud
The primary goal of Florida 14-day accident law is to decrease PIP insurance within this state. Around 2011, there was an increase in motor vehicle insurance fraud because of lenient PIP laws.
That is why a bill was passed to amend these laws by adding a Florida 14-day accident law to the PIP system. The main goal of this rule is to reduce the rising costs due to false PIP claims.
Fake claims have been making it difficult for insurance agencies to make payouts. They are also preventing actual victims with original injuries from receiving their compensation on time.
This is why the Florida 14-day accident law is an important rule in the legal system. If anyone fails to meet its requirements, they are not eligible for filing a PIP claim.
The best thing is that there are no exceptions or workarounds to this law. There have been many people who find out about PIP benefits later and decide to get them by using old non-significant injuries for a claim.
In such cases, this law helps the insurance company deny the claim rightfully and save them from losing money due to a fake claim.
You should also avoid making false claims because insurance adjusters don’t make payouts directly to victims. Instead, they pay their bills directly to the medical provider under the Florida PIP 14-day rule.
2. Prevent Exacerbation Of Injuries
Another primary goal of the Florida 14-day law is to encourage people to receive timely treatment. Many residents in the state do not seek immediate treatment which leads to the worsening of their symptoms.
So as per this car accident law in Florida, people immediately go to medical service providers. This helps them get a medical certificate that can help with filing a rightful PIP claim.
Your condition will not also worsen or lead to fatality due to internal injuries or other reasons.
Let’s look at some symptoms and injuries for which you must seek medical treatment and be eligible for a claim under the Florida 14-day accident law:
The most classic symptom that people suffer after auto accident Florida incidents is a headache. You may face it immediately after the crash or a few days later.
This may be a sign of a significant head injury, concussion, or other types of internal wounds. If you didn’t get a checkup after the crash, you should do so immediately when you suffer from a headache.
Typically, a headache may appear before the time limit of the Florida 14-day accident law finishes. So you may even be able to file a PIP claim with your insurance service provider.
Remember if you don’t seek prompt treatment, your minor injury would turn into a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).
b. Swelling Of Muscles
When you suffer from specific injuries such as whiplash wounds, your muscles may swell. You may also experience edema in specific parts of the body due to the injury.
Whatever the case, you will have to visit the hospital to get some scans done for a definitive diagnosis. If swelling persists for weeks, you can experience permanent muscle damage.
This is because the cells within your muscles will continuously die and may cause severe dysfunction. So even when you see minor swelling on your body, don’t wait for it to go away on its own.
Visit a medical professional to get an expert opinion and treatment that PIP may cover if you file within the limits of the Florida 14-day accident law.
c. Back Or Spinal Injuries
Back or spinal injuries are usually prominent during the time of the accident. So you can visit a hospital immediately to seek treatment under the 14-day PIP car accident law in Florida.
Remember minor back or spinal injuries can present as shoulder pain or aches in the lower back. This pain may go away and return multiple times within a day.
It may also constantly persist, depending on the type of injury. These wounds mainly occur due to nerve damage within a localized area in your back or spine.
Some scans and physical tests may have to be done by a medical provider. Your condition may also qualify as an emergency medical condition (EMC) to be eligible for maximal PIP claim benefits.
Numbness refers to loss of sensation in one or more body parts. Auto accident Florida victims commonly experience this symptom soon after the crash.
They can also exaggerate to whiplash injuries if you don’t receive timely treatment. Some people don’t consider numbness to be a proper sign of seeking a medical opinion.
That is because they believe the symptoms are due to shock and overwhelming emotions after the crash. However, that is not always true.
Numbness usually occurs due to nerve damage after minor to major accidents.
e. Abdominal Pain Or Swelling
Another symptom that people suffer after car accidents is abdominal pain. This is an indication of an internal injury to the gut that can lead to severe permanent damage later.
One of the ways to identify an internal injury is a dark bruise over your abdomen. If the bruise persists for days and darkens with time, you can be sure you need immediate medical treatment.
You may also feel dizzy or faint frequently after a car crash. If so, you must seek treatment under the 14-day car accident law in Florida.
Many times seeking no treatment for internal bleeding can also lead to fatality.
f. Neurological Changes
Many people perceive neurological changes as emotional changes that may return to normal with time. However, you should let a medical professional make this diagnosis instead of doing it yourself.
You may experience mood swings after the accident. Haunting dreams and flashbacks may also persist reminding you about the crash frequently.
These may be due to PTSD after the accident. However, it can also be due to a brain injury. The wound may also restrict your ability to engage in physical activity.
Seeking medical treatment due to the Florida 14-day accident law can help you save your life and prevent a decrease in quality of life.
3. Enhance The Claim Processing System
The final goal of the Florida 14-day accident law is to enhance the processing system of PIP claims. It relieves the insurance company from the burden of investigating claims that are years old.
Finding information for old cases is more difficult because technology has advanced over time. Some records are also deleted or lost with time due to inefficient systems at hospitals, essential service providers, and more.
By ensuring people file a claim within 14 days of their accident, the company can make reliable investigations. Collecting evidence and meeting witnesses is also easier within a fast time frame.
The best thing about it is that victims benefit the most. The fast investigation leads to quicker processing. So you can receive your expense coverage within three months of the accident at max.
Opt For Approved Medical Treatment As Soon As Possible
Seeking medical treatment as soon as possible is important if you want your PIP claim to qualify for maximum benefits. Injuries that are not under the EMC category have a cap of $2,500 to minimize insurance payouts and reserve funds for victims with emergency conditions.
You can seek treatment from the following medical professionals to get a qualifying opinion for PIP claims:
- Emergency medical technician
- A doctor at a hospital
- Emergency care clinics
- A certified chiropractor
If the medical provider labels your condition to be EMC, you will be eligible for complete benefits of PIP car accident law in Florida. This means the insurance company may cover up to 80% of your medical bills.
What Will Your PIP Insurance Cover Under The Florida Hit And Run Laws?
Here are some key things that PIP insurance typically covers under Florida hit and run laws:
· Medical Payments
PIP covers 80% of reasonable medical expenses up to $10,000 for injuries sustained in a hit-and-run accident. This includes expenses like hospital bills, doctor visits, surgery, physical therapy, etc.
· Lost Wages
PIP will reimburse 60% of lost income, up to $10,000, if you miss work due to injuries from a hit-and-run. You must be able to prove/document the lost wages.
· Replacement Services
If you can’t perform normal household duties due to your injuries, PIP covers replacement services up to $2,500. This could include things like house cleaning, yard work, childcare, etc.
Unfortunately, PIP does not cover any vehicle damage or property damage from a hit-and-run accident.
You would need to file a claim under your collision coverage or uninsured motorist coverage for that under Florida hit and run laws.
· Funeral Expenses
If a death occurs as a direct result of a hit-and-run crash, PIP will pay up to $5,000 in funeral, burial, or cremation expenses.
What To Do If The Injuries Present After 14 Days?
Once you pass the limit of the Florida 14-day accident law, you cannot file a PIP claim. This means your own insurance company will not cover your medical expenses, wages, and other losses.
However, you will still be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. If you win the case, you will receive a compensation from them that will cover:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Repair cost of vehicle
- Funeral expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Property damage besides vehicle damage
What Is The Time Limit For PIP In Florida?
The time limit of PIP follows the Florida 14-day accident law. You will have 14 days to seek treatment and file a claim. If you miss this window, you will not qualify for PIP compensation.
How Does Florida PIP Work?
Florida PIP follows a no-fault rule that allows people to receive compensation from their insurance providers. This is regardless of the fault. The company will view your evidence, perform their investigation, and make a decision for your claim.
Can PIP Be Rejected In Florida?
A PIP can be rejected in Florida if you miss the limit set by the Florida 14-day accident law. The company may also reject the claim if your information does not match expert medical opinion and the findings of their investigation.
Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer After An Auto Accident
That is everything you must know about the Florida 14-day accident law. You must hire a personal injury lawyer to understand all the requirements of the Florida PIP 14-day rule.
If you miss the claim window, you can still file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Contact us now to consult our lawyers about your case.