What is the 14-day rule after a car accident? Now here at St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas, I have clients who are involved in car accidents who constantly ask me or refer to the 14-day rule. And what I’ve observed over the years is that there’s a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation out there as to exactly what this 14-day rule means and the effect of it really quite frankly. So the way it works in Florida is if you’re involved in a car accident, every single person who is on the roads is supposed to be covered by PIP and that’s no-fault insurance. So that’s your own car insurance. If you live with a resident relative, you can qualify under their policy. But the 14-day rule specifically applies to this PIP insurance. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve caused the accident, if you’re at fault for the accident or if you’re not at fault for the accident, this PIP insurance is out there and it is supposed to protect you.
Uh, any event that you are in a car accident and you are injured and don’t worry, it doesn’t raise your car accident, uh, or your car insurance rates. So don’t worry about that. But PIP insurance, again, it’s set to pay those medical bills. So most people think, all right, well I’ve been involved in a car accident, I have 14 days to go out and get treatment and then I can make a claim against the at fault driver and I can put money in my pocket because of this 14 day rule. But what they don’t understand is that 14 day rule only applies to the PIP insurance. So although they can go in and see a doctor within the 14 days and have to get medical treatment and referred out for what’s called an emergency medical condition or an EMC evaluation with either an MD or a DEO within that 14 days, then they qualify for the full $10,000 worth of PIP benefits.
Likewise, if they go in and they get medical treatment and they do not have an emergency medical condition, they’re only limited to 2,500 in those PIP benefits. But that’s the 14 day rule. It does not affect your injury claim if you haven’t been injured by another person and you want to make a claim against their insurance company. Because a lot of our clients, as I mentioned earlier, they believe all they have to do is get in to see a doctor within the 14 days. Because I’ve heard about 14 days on TV ads on the radio, and a lot of chiropractic organizations, uh, that’s part of their, uh, advertising. And again, so that’s for the PIP insurance. So they can build a PIP, but it doesn’t help your injury claim. It doesn’t put any money in your pocket. So if you were to, for example, you wait 14 days to go, you’ve been in a car accident, you’ve been, you’ve been injured, you’re sore, you decide, okay, I need to get checked out.
And you wait days a week or even up to 14 days, what’s going to happen when you make that claim to the other insurance company? At the end of the day, they’re gonna look at that and say you waited two weeks or you waited a week or 10 days before you went in to see somebody, either you’re not badly injured or you got injured due to some other incident that occurred, uh, in that time frame. So beware, the 14 day rule only applies to unlocking that PIP insurance. It does not apply. It has nothing to do with, uh, the value of your bodily injury claim. And so as to the value specifically as to the value of that personal injury claim, you do not want to wait even a day to go in and get coverage or to go and to get treatment. Because again, don’t give the insurance company for the other side the opportunity to say you’re not that badly injured.
So if you’re in a car accident, get out to see somebody, whether it’s the go to the hospital or an urgent care or even a chiropractor or whomever, get in there ASAP, don’t have a gap in time. And then you have a, you have successfully defeated any argument that the insurance company can make that you were not that badly injured. So I hope this is helpful in explaining the 14 day rule and also how, um, a delay in treatment will affect your car accident injury claim. At the end of the day, if you have any questions about how this procedure work or the statute, uh, or any issues about a car accident injury claim, please contact us at the office.
*The above has been transcribed by a third party service and has not been checked for accuracy.
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St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas
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