Daytona Beach, FL – When they’re involved in a car crash, most people will focus on getting the facts straight in the police report, which will indeed be crucial later on when you file a damage claim. However, there’s another crucial element many motorists ignore – medical records.
Experienced Daytona Beach car accident lawyers say that if you’re not seriously hurt and in need of immediate medical care, you should remain at the scene of the accident until the police arrive. The doctor can wait, but not for long.
When should you see a doctor following a car crash?
The short answer is as soon as possible. The long answer would be within 72 hours to a maximum of 14 days from the date of the accident and we’ll explain why you need to act fast.
How long do you have to see a doctor to claim damages under PIP?
In Florida, accident victims can recover damages under their Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which is mandatory in the Sunshine State. You must notify your insurer right away and you will have to submit medical records and bills to justify your demand. If you cannot present proof you’ve seen a doctor within 14 days of the accident, your claim will most likely be denied.
What happens if you make a claim against the other driver’s insurance?
Florida is a no-fault state, which is why all motorists are required to carry Personal Injury Protection. Yet, if you sustain serious injuries you’ll have to step outside the no-fault system and file a claim under tort laws.
Your first step will be to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance, keeping a lawsuit as a last resort option.
What happens is that your claim will be evaluated by an insurance adjuster. Florida insurance companies use several automated systems to evaluate your claim taking into account various elements. One of the most important things is whether or not you sought medical attention and how long it took for you to do so. If you see a doctor within 72 hours that would be a reasonable delay. If you only see a doctor three weeks after the car crash, expect the insurance adjuster to have a lot of questions. You may find yourself accused of fraud, especially if your injury cannot be proven by hard evidence, such as X-rays or test results.
Take, for instance, whiplash, one of the most common types of injuries resulting from a car accident. There’s very little actual proof you can present for whiplash as the damage to your neck and back muscles is not visible on X-rays. A diagnosis is usually made based on the patient’s symptoms. If you complain of severe pains and say you can hardly lift your arm to comb your hair, the doctor will conclude you have whiplash. However, the adjuster will claim you’re faking it and the fact that you didn’t see a doctor after the accident is proof you were feeling just fine.
What to do if your physician won’t see you after a car crash?
Many Florida residents who were injured in a car accident were shocked to discover their regular physician won’t see them. That’s because many doctors don’t want to have anything to do with insurance claims. Your doctor may tell you they’re not qualified to deal with accident injury. This can be extremely frustrating, but seasoned Florida accident lawyers say it happens all the time. If you don’t know who to turn to, contact a good lawyer and have them refer you to a physician who does work with accident victims. You won’t have to pay them upfront. The doctor will wait for payment until you’ve settled your claim. And so will your lawyer, by the way.
If you were recently injured in an accident in the Daytona Beach area, schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer at Pappas & Russell PA as soon as possible. They will help you gather all the evidence you need and prepare your personal injury claim, while you can focus on your recovery
213 Silver Beach Avenue
Daytona Beach, Florida 32118
Phone: (386) 254-2941