Should I Go to the Doctor After a Car Accident? South Florida Car Accident Attorney Answers
Should I Go to the Doctor or Hospital After a Car Accident? South Florida Injury Attorney Answers
Yes. If you believe you were injured in an automobile accident (or a slip and fall or any other accident) it is best to seek medical attention right away. Even if you feel fine, you may want to pay the doctor a visit unless you are absolutely sure you are OK. It is quite common for it to take days or weeks before you feel the effects of the trauma your body suffered in the car crash.
But this is about more than your health. Failure to seek medical attention after a car accident may have a negative impact on your personal injury case. There are a few reasons for this:
- Failure to seek treatment may raise questions about the severity of your injuries. The insurance company may argue that if you didn’t seek medical treatment right away, you couldn’t have been seriously hurt.
- The longer you wait, the more difficult it is to connect your injuries to this specific accident. If you don’t see a doctor until 3 months after the accident, the insurance company may argue that your injury resulted from, say, that ultimate frisbee game you played with your friends rather than the car accident.
- The insurance company may claim you only saw a doctor after your lawyer convinced you to in order to strengthen your case. You want to build a strong case from day one.
- Unfortunately, the car insurance company may try to blame you for your injuries by arguing if you had seen a doctor right away you may have prevented your injuries (this is called “failure to mitigate damages”).
Your first step after a car accident should be to seek medical care. While you’re in the waiting room at the doctor, urgent care, or emergency room, give an experienced Florida car accident lawyer a call for a FREE consultation on your case.
Do I Need to go to the Hospital after a Car Accident? South Florida Car Accident Attorney Explains
This depends on the extent and kind of your injuries. If you are seriously hurt and paramedics are hauling you to the hospital or ER, then yes, you should go. The most important thing is that you are taking care of yourself first and foremost – and if you think you may be seriously injured, the safest way to receive treatment is to be transported by an ambulance or paramedics. Your health and safety aren’t worth a gamble if self-transport could potentially worsen an injury. But if you have any choice in the matter, your answer should be, “No!”
Unfortunately, a hospital or ER visit can be quite expensive. We’re talking easily upwards of $10,000 just for walking through their doors and receiving basic treatments. In fact, the ambulance ride to a South Florida hospital alone could easily be $1,000, or much much more. If you have a basic PIP (Personal Injury Protection) plan on your car insurance, your insurance could try to cap your coverage benefits at $10,000 – which means an ambulance ride and hospital treatment could use most of that benefit before you even know the full extent of treatment you need to recover from your injuries.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP, or “No-Fault” insurance) in Florida
Florida is one of several states that require Personal Injury Protection (PIP) for all insured drivers. PIP is often called “no-fault” insurance. What this means is that your own insurance will provide immediate payments of up to $10,000 for injuries you or your loved ones sustained in a crash. We know, it’s confusing.
While you may be entitled to further payments and compensation if the crash was not your fault, you are always entitled to PIP coverage for your injuries, treatment, or even lost time from work depending on your car insurance policy.
While your coverage amount may vary depending on your policy, Florida law requires insurance companies to provide coverage of at least $10,000 per person. That means a single trip to the ER after your accident may use up your entire PIP coverage, not to mention the long wait times!
If you can avoid the emergency room after a car accident safely, we recommend that you don’t go to the ER. You should, however, still see a doctor after a car accident.
What Kind of Doctor Should I see if I Was Injured in a Car Accident?
You have a lot of great options! You can try a walk-in clinic, urgent care center, chiropractor, primary care doctor, or even a dentist. Paying a visit to one of these more affordable medical professionals will save more of your PIP to be used toward your recovery from injuries or time off work.
Of course, if your injuries require immediate intervention by an emergency medicine doctor, you should, by all means, go to a hospital or ER. Your life and health are worth more than any amount of money. If your injuries are minor or you are unsure whether you were injured or not, however, it may be worth seeking care from a clinic instead of a hospital. An urgent care can be a great place to start if you are unsure because if your injuries are more serious or urgent they can either treat you or transfer you to a hospital if more resources are needed.
Whatever kind of doctor you see, be sure to tell them you were injured in a car accident so they can document that in their notes. This will go a long way toward strengthening your case.
Why do I Need an Attorney After a Car Accident? Isn’t Compensation my Right for Paying Car Insurance Premiums?
While compensation, especially from Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, is your right after a car accident in Florida, you may need an experienced Florida car accident lawyer to help you fight for your rights. Insurance companies want to maximize their profits, and they do that by minimizing your compensation.
Unfortunately, fraudulent PIP claims make up about 50% of all insurance fraud referrals in the state of Florida, even though they only account for 2% of premiums paid. That means you need someone on your side to make sure your case doesn’t get lumped in with the fraudsters.
Have You Been Injured in A Florida Car Accident?
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced Florida car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Coral Springs office directly at (954) 755-7803 to schedule your free consultation. We proudly serve Florida residents including all of Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County and all points in between.