After an auto accident in St. Petersburg, FL, you technically have 14 days to see a doctor to qualify for no-fault (PIP) insurance benefits. But, just because Florida allows 14 days in order to get your medical bills covered, it does not mean that waiting days or even up to 2 weeks is helpful for your auto accident case. In fact, an insurance company will penalize your case for every day that you delay treatment.
Most people delay treatment after an auto accident because they don’t feel pain at the scene and mistakenly believe that if they don’t have immediate pain, then they did not sustain an injury. The person may refuse treatment by ambulance, go home and go to sleep. Often, the soreness to the back or neck sets in later that night or in the morning. Still, even with that soreness, many people will take ibuprofen and go on with their life. Days may go by with the same level of pain before a person realizes that something is wrong. Once there has been a gap in the treatment of several days following the accident, the insurance company will undoubtedly take the position that the injury could not be that severe or the person would not have waited that long to see someone. In turn, they will offer less to resolve the injury claim regardless of the accident injury or course of treatment.
Delaying Treatment After an Auto Accident Can Cost You
For example, on the day this blog was written, an insurance adjuster used a delay in treatment against my client. My client and his wife were involved in a rear-end car accident on their way on vacation. They were just passing through the town. The client took his wife to the hospital, but he was so concerned with her well-being, he did not get checked out. He then finished his vacation, drove back to town and came to see me. I referred him to a doctor after 5 days had passed from the time of the accident to when he officially received medical care. He treated with the doctor the same as his wife and they both had similar injuries. However, he was offered ⅓ less than his wife to settle the case. The insurance adjuster’s only explanation for the disparity of the offer was the fact that he had a 5-day delay in treatment. Although I explained the circumstances over and over, the adjuster did not care. Therefore, there is no doubt that the delay in treatment is valued quite highly by insurance companies and people need to realize this fact.
If you are sore after an accident, there may not be a need to go to a hospital, but some type of medical attention should be sought just to be safe. Seeing a doctor or setting up an auto accident claim does not raise your insurance rates. There is absolutely no risk of getting checked out or speaking to a lawyer. If you have any questions after an auto accident in St. Petersburg, FL, please err on the side of being proactive about your care. If you wait several days to see if the pain will go away, I guarantee it will cost you more money in the end than had you simply gotten checked out.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, then you should take the proper measures to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas today and speak with an attorney. For over 60 years our firm has been successfully helping people who have been injured due to someone else’s carelessness. We have been nationally ranked for decades by US News and World Reports as a Tier 1 law firm, which is the highest ranking that can be received. Sean McQuaid and Jonathon Douglas have dedicated their careers to continuing the firms legacy of superior legal representation.
Remember that we never charge a fee, unless we win. Call us today at 727-381-2300 so that we may answer your questions, help you navigate the complexities of insurance claims, and recover the compensation that you deserve.
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St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas
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St. Petersburg, FL 33707