Have you been involved in a car accident in or around St. Augustine, Florida? If so, you may not have immediately gone to the doctor to be checked out. You might have assumed that because you were not experiencing any pain immediately after the accident, you were fine and did not need medical care, only to wake up a day later to realize that you were in serious discomfort. At this point, you’re probably wondering how long you have to visit a doctor or walk in clinic after an accident.
The 14-Day Rule with PIP Insurance
If you’re a Floridian, then you’re required to carry PIP, or personal injury protection, insurance. This is what covers you for physical injuries after an auto accident if you were at fault, or in the event of a no-fault accident. You have just 14 days to see a doctor after your accident, though, or you forfeit the protection you pay for.
Note that Florida is the only state in the US to limit you to just two weeks and that this rule only applies to initial treatment. So, if you wait to get treatment for longer than 14 days after the event, you will not be covered by your PIP insurance, even if you do not experience any symptoms until the 14-day period is over.
You also need to consider the emergency medical condition statement. Any initial treater can declare that you are suffering from an emergency medical condition, at any point after your accident, and that entitles you to at least $10,000 in PIP coverage. However, if the treater does not state that you have an emergency medical condition, you will be limited to just $2,500 in PIP coverage.
What’s an Initial Treatment?
Initial treatment is exactly what it sounds like – the first treatment for an injury sustained in an automobile accident, and that is covered by your PIP insurance. Initial treaters include walk in clinic operations, chiropractors, medical doctors, hospitals, EMTs, and even dentists. Note that any medical professional not considered an initial treater by the state of Florida cannot treat you initially. If you visit a non-initial treater, you may void your insurance coverage.
So, what should you do? The best course of action is to visit a walk-in clinic immediately after your auto accident. This applies even if you are not currently experiencing any symptoms. The doctors at the clinic can evaluate you and provide you with medical care if necessary, but you also avoid missing your two-week window.