OBTAINING MEDICAL TREATMENT AFTER AN AUTO ACCIDENT WITH PIP
Being involved in a car accident with injuries is a life changing event for most people. Not only does it add enormous amount of stress to your life because your vehicle is damaged but now you have to determine where and how to get medical treatment. In this page we will discuss and explain who is responsible for paying your medical bills if you have been involved in a car accident and are injured. If you are having trouble getting treatment because of an insurance gap or lack of coverage, we may be able to write a letter of protection to the doctors or hospital treating you as a voucher of payment from a possible future settlement.
You have several options but there is an order of priority in Florida if you own a vehicle and have Personal Injury Protection Benefits. Learn more about those benefits here and contact us to consult with a personal injury attorney for help.
If I’m involved in a car accident who pays for my treatment?
Under Florida PIP law 627.736 if you are involved in a car accident then your own car insurance policy is required to cover up to the first $10,000 of medical bills assuming you have an emergency medical condition because of the accident. Be aware that although you may have up to 10,000 of PIP benefits you may have a deductible. To determine if you have a deductible you need to look at your own car insurance policy. The deductible can be 0, $500, $1000 or $2000. This deductible must be met before the insurance company pays any money towards your medical bills.
What is Med Pay?
Med Pay is additional medical coverage that you can obtain in Florida through your car insurance company that would cover any out of pocket expenses such as deductibles for PIP or additional bills above and beyond the $10,000 of PIP benefits. Med pay can be either $2500, $5000, $10,000 or more depending on your insurance company. While med pay does benefit you to pay the upfront medical bills be aware that your insurance company will have a right of subrogation (or to recover) the amount they paid if you make a recovery from another person. However, an experienced auto accident attorney can help reduce the amount you pay back.
What if I have health insurance and I was involved in a car accident?
If you have health insurance us it because they are obligated to pay any medical bills after the PIP benefits and any med pay benefits are exhausted. However, your insurance company will have a right of subrogation should you recover any money because it was someone else’s fault. However, an experienced auto insurance claim lawyer can help reduce the amount you pay back.
Get medical attention immediately
If you are injured or you think you maybe injured from a car accident get medical help as soon as possible for two main reasons:
- Because some injuries are not immediately apparent; and
- Delays in care as well as gaps in treatments are the insurance company’s favorite defenses.
Reasons for delay in Pain after a car accident
The human body is amazing as it has the capacity to self-heal. Because our life experiences have shown us that with rest and time our body tends to heal itself, most people avoid being seen by a doctor because they assume the body will heal itself. The reality is that most of the time after a car accident even one with no visible property damage there can be permanent injuries that cannot heal themselves without medical attention. Common sense tells us that when you have two vehicles that run into each other that weigh anywhere from 2500 pds to 5000 pds that you are going to get injured even at low speeds because the human body especially the neck is not made to be suddenly and unexpectedly twisted, pulled or extended like in most whiplash injuries.
Body’s reaction to injuries
Whiplash and back injures are sometimes not immediately apparent because of muscle and ligaments are stretched and/or torn the body begins to produce fluids in the areas to try and immobilize the site of injury to try and repair the damage. The fluid or edema buildup may take hours or days before it is fully realized, which is why a person who has been involved in car accident will usually say they are fine at the scene of the accident but then cannot get out of bed the next day or even two or three days later.
Noradrenaline is released after an accident
A stress induced analgesia allows an injured person to block out the pain because they were in flight or fight mode from the scare of the accident. Noradrenaline or better known as norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter in the CNS that blocks the transmission of pain. After an accident people most often do not feel pain because of this phenomenon until the levels of noradrenaline return to normal.
If you’re involved in a motor vehicle collision, we urge you to seek medical treatment immediately. The medical professionals can assess your condition and determine whether you are exhibiting any signs of injury that you might not know about. Please drive safely, and be well.