4 Reasons to Get Your Medical Exam Sooner than Later
After a serious car accident, injured people don’t always realize there’s anything medically wrong with them. The initial shock of the collision may block pain and other symptoms of injury. Ingesting painkillers or consuming alcohol after a vehicle crash may also mask signs of severe bodily harm.
It’s important to have a thorough exam after an auto accident. If you’ve suffered a personal injury as a result of the collision, the sooner you undergo an expert medical exam, the better. There are four things you should know about getting prompt medical attention after your vehicle accident
1. Your Health Is Worth More Than Money
Some people don’t seek help after an accident because they fear the cost of the medical exam and any required treatment. These people may not have adequate health insurance coverage, or they’re afraid they must pay upfront for the post-accident exam.
Don’t trade a momentary sense of financial security for a lifetime of pain and suffering. Let the EMTs look you over, or head to an emergency room to get checked out as soon as possible after the accident. Worry about the bill later.
If a serious injury grows worse without treatment, and later keeps you from working and enjoying life, you really haven’t reduced costs. You may experience lost wages and rack up more expensive medical bills down the line if an injury is discovered too late.
2. Personal Injury Protection Covers the Initial Exam
Many states, including Florida, have no-fault laws that don’t assign basic medical liability for accidents to either of the involved parties. No-fault policies are generally more expensive than policies with bodily injury coverage, according to some experts, because they have built-in provisions to cover medical expenses. In Florida, no-fault policies afford you $10,000 worth of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage regardless of who’s at fault for the injury
The other good news about no-fault accident laws is the provision that you don’t have to pay upfront for some of your accident-related medical bills. As long as you meet the requirements of the law, your medical exam and other treatments will be billed to your insurance company. Not all states have these PIP provisions, so check your policy to find out the details in your auto-insurance medical coverage.
3. No-Fault Insurance Requires a Timely Medical Exam
Many states have deadlines you must meet to have your medical bills covered by your auto insurance policy. Although Florida lawmakers are attempting to abolish the state’s no-fault insurance law, it’s not a done deal, yet. Currently, the Florida no-fault law gives you only 14 days from the time of your accident to be seen by a medical professional.
If you meet this deadline, up to 80 percent of your reasonable qualifying expenses will be paid for by the PIP coverage in your no-fault policy. If you don’t meet the deadline and fail to receive a medical checkup after your accident, you lose any coverage you had under the PIP portion of your policy.
Make certain you understand the specific timelines and deadlines in your policy. Have a medical professional check you out before your time is up to avoid liability for your accident-related medical expenses.
4. You Don’t Necessarily Need a Complete Doctor’s Exam
Under some state laws, including Florida’s insurance provisions, you can initially be seen by medical service providers who aren’t doctors, as long as you meet the state’s accident deadlines. In Florida, paramedics and EMTs on the scene of your collision qualify as initial medical-service providers—if you request an exam. These emergency medical responders then create a medical report to prove that you were assessed for injuries on the date of your crash.
In Florida and some other states, you may visit your dentist to qualify for your initial medical services. Your chiropractor is also a qualified medical service provider. Any accident-related medical services you receive in a hospital or hospital-owned clinic are also accepted as qualifying initial medical services, as long as you meet the deadlines required by the law.
If you’re suffering due to an injury from a vehicle accident, contact the Law Office of Scott M. Sandler, P.A today to learn more about personal injury laws. You may be eligible to recover more damages than your insurance policy allows.
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