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After getting into a car accident, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to attend to your health and protect your legal rights to compensation. Most insurance companies require that policyholders visit a doctor within a certain amount of time to file a compensation claim.

How Long Do You Have To Go To A Doctor After A Car Accident?

After getting into a car accident, one of the first steps you should take is to seek medical attention to be assessed for accident-related injuries.

In the United States, more than four million individuals are injured in motor vehicle accidents each year, ranging from bruising and broken bones to traumatic brain injuries and paralysis.

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Accident victims must seek medical treatment after an accident to attend to these injuries or get assessed for less visible injuries, such as a concussion or internal injury.

Another reason is to comply with auto insurance requirements, which may state that policyholders have a limited amount of time to go see a doctor after an accident to receive personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This is known as a statute of limitations.

Statutes of limitations for car accident injuries vary by state. Depending on where you live in the United States, you may have anywhere from 72 hours to two weeks after an accident to seek medical attention. Going to a doctor within the right time frame helps ensure that your injuries will be eligible for insurance reimbursement.

Why You Should See A Doctor Right Away

There are several reasons why it can be important to seek care from a medical professional as soon as possible after a car accident, in addition to your own well-being.

The first is to ensure you comply with your auto insurance company’s personal injury protection requirements. Some insurance policies may detail a limited amount of time you have to seek medical care to receive compensation.

Statute Of Limitations Following An Accident

Many common medical expenses that result from car accident injuries are covered under personal injury protection, which is a type of coverage offered in some auto insurance policies. To learn if you have PIP insurance, read through your insurance policy carefully.

You may be required to receive medical care within a certain amount of time for the resulting expenses to be eligible for PIP coverage.

In Florida, individuals have up to 14 days to see a state-approved doctor for accident-related injuries. Failing to see a doctor within the required window of time could affect your legal rights to compensation.

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Car Accident Injuries Can Appear Late

Not all serious injuries that result from a car accident are obvious right away. Some accident-related injuries can appear late, with symptoms showing up days or even weeks after the date of the accident.

Two common examples of late-appearing injuries are concussions and soft-tissue injuries, like whiplash. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that can occur from trauma sustained to the head.

During a collision, a concussion can occur even when the head hasn’t been directly injured, but from the head jerking forward very suddenly.

Symptoms of a concussion can vary, but may include:

  • difficulty concentrating
  • cloudy thinking
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • nausea
  • blurry vision
  • trouble remembering new information
  • low energy
  • sleeping more or less than usual
  • balance issues

After getting into an accident, it’s recommended that you visit a doctor within 72 hours to be assessed for accident-related injury.

Even if you don’t believe you’ve been seriously injured and do not need urgent care, it’s worthwhile to get checked out. Your doctor can assess for less visible damage to prevent the onset of the serious, late-appearing injury.

Types Of Medical Services Covered By Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

In some states, personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is mandatory. This coverage insures drivers for medical expenses resulting from vehicle collisions.

Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage offers benefits that can be used for various medical services. Coverage is available as long as you seek these services from approved providers within the amount of time stated in your policy.

Types of medical services that may be covered include:

  • emergency room care
  • ambulance transportation
  • X-rays
  • primary care visits
  • dental services
  • rehabilitative services

Seeking medical care from approved providers in your state may be an important factor in determining whether your medical treatment costs are eligible for coverage.

Receiving treatment from a non-approved provider may result in a denied claim or refusal from your auto insurance to cover treatment costs.

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How Seeking Help From A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

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Filing an auto insurance claim after getting into an accident can be a stressful and confusing process.

Although insurance companies are required by law to process claims fairly and promptly, some insurance companies may operate in bad faith. Bad faith practices include providing misleading or false information about their policies or failing to provide a reasonable explanation for a denied claim.

One example of a bad faith insurance tactic is for an auto insurance company to falsely claim that a person did not seek medical attention soon enough. The insurance company may also claim that because a policyholder didn’t seek medical treatment right away, it appears unclear whether the injury can be directly linked to the accident.

At Florin|Roebig law firm, our personal injury lawyers are committed to helping clients navigate the insurance claims process and receive the compensation they’re entitled to promptly. We can also help you dispute a claim or file a bad faith claim against your insurance company, if necessary, to secure compensation.

Contact Us Today For Legal Assistance After A Car Accident

Since 1985, the lawyers of Florin|Roebig law firm have been fighting for and protecting the rights of clients across the U.S. who have suffered personal injury and other losses.

Don’t wait to get started with a free consultation with one of our top-rated car accident attorneys. Contact us today at (800) 226-6581 to learn more about how we can help you file or dispute an auto insurance claim for medical cost reimbursement.