Effective on January 1, 2013, Florida’s No Fault/Personal Injury Protection (affectionately known as “PIP”) will require anyone injured in a Florida car accident to present for care and treatment for such injuries within 14 days from the date of accident. Failure to be present and be seen for those injuries within this strict 14 day time limit will result in the forfeiture of all PIP benefits for medical care, regardless of the fact that you paid premiums for the same. How unfair is this? You paid thousands in dollars for your mandated $10,000.00 in PIP benefits, but now, because of some arbitrary period imposed by the Florida Legislature, if you don’t act fast, you will loose it all!
The problem with this harsh provision is that often times, many significant and serious injuries do not manifest or fully present themselves until after the expiration of this time limit. Even very serious injuries, like herniated disks, take time to manifest themselves due to swelling and inflamation in the body. When and if that happens, most likely you and your treating doctor are going to find themselves now having to sue your own insurance company, just to get the benefit of your insurance bargin. All because somehow, the Florida Legislature decided you should know your hurt by the 14th day.
So, what can you do to make sure you don’t fall victim to this insurance company trap? Here is three steps to take to give yourself the very best chance to receive your full PIP benefits:
- You Need to be seen by a Medical Doctor or at a medical facility who has one of the only four medical specialist who can diagnose an Emergent Medical Condition (what the heck is that? – EMC) within 14 days of the date of the accident;
- Make sure that the Medical Provider you see does a complete head-to-toe examination and documents every single ache, pain, bruise and post accident related symptom that you have;
- Make sure, especially if any new symptoms or problems develop, you tell your Doctor immediately
You must make sure you know the only medical providers who can correctly diagnose you with an Emergent Medical Condition.
Hire an Experienced Orlando Auto Accident Attorney
Also make sure you find out and know what conditions qualify as an Emergent Medical Condition and which ones the insurance company is likely to fight hard on.