Injuries can occur before you know it. It is impossible to prepare for every situation, and the law requires that certain actions happen quickly. One of the most daunting and overwhelming experiences in life can be an injury, including the process of paying for medical expenses and handling insurance claims. A personal injury attorney may be able to provide invaluable counsel and assistance through these difficult moments.

Paying for Injuries After A Car Accident

Although all registered drivers in the state of Florida are required to insure their vehicles under a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy, this coverage is designed only to protect the policyholder against basic expense in an accident and is limited. Insurance companies often offer additional medical coverage options. 

Generally, in the event of an accident, if you have a deductible on your policy, you will be required to pay that deductible, regardless of the party at fault. Your car insurance provider is then responsible for 80% of medical bills under PIP benefits or until all monies are exhausted from different coverage. However, the costs of emergency medical visits quickly accumulate and can become astronomical. In the case that PIP and insurance do not cover all expenses, any uncovered costs pass along to your health insurance provider. It's recommended that when you are listing insurance while at the hospital that you list PIP first, then your health insurance.

In the case that you are involved in an accident and you are without proper vehicle insurance, the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles recommends that you immediately purchase an insurance policy and make the provider aware that you were in a crash as an uninsured party.

Can I Recover From An Injury Without Health Insurance?

The devastation of personal injury can be most severe for a person who is without any kind of health care coverage. Estimates vary, but the number of uninsured people in the US ranges between 40 and 60 million people. In the event of an emergency, the 1986 Congressional Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), guarantees anyone who seeks emergency medical assistance be treated without regard to their ability to pay.

Although hospitals do have the right to inquire how a person will pay for treatment, they face heavy fines for delaying treatment or care for someone without insurance. Hospitals have no obligation if the situation is not an emergency, or if the individual refuses treatment or care.

In the case of a non-emergency situation, including personal injuries which do not immediately threaten a person's situation, all expenses are expected to be paid out of pocket. Some hospitals are willing to negotiate a lower total bill if the expenses can be paid at one time, otherwise a reasonable payment plan can typically be negotiated. 

Florida offers residents the option to obtain litigation (lawsuit) financing to cover court and legal costs before any reimbursement for injuries is paid by insurance companies. Typically, this is 10% cash advance of the estimated value of the case, to be repaid upon any award in litigation. 

For additional information, ask an experienced attorney about the legalities of health insurance, benefits, and particulars of placing a claim.

Do I Need to See a Doctor If I am Injured?

After a personal injury, never assume that you do not need medical assistance. Injuries can be complicated and often become worse if left untreated. If you are injured in an accident, seek medical care immediately, regardless of who is at fault. Basic treatment immediately after an injury can include:
  • Emergency room visits for treatment of burns, abrasions, or other obvious injury.
  • Emergency room testing ( X-Ray, MRI, or CAT scan) to determine internal, unseen injuries.
  • Short-term hospital recovery.
  • Antibiotic or pain management prescriptions necessary for recovery.

Sometimes, the injury can be so severe that a person must seek long-term treatment and follow-up care including:
  • Physical therapy, mobility assistance, and chiropractic treatments.
  • Surgery, or multiple surgeries, to correct injured tissues and aid long-term recovery.
  • Long-term or permanent prescriptions to medications.

Only a medical provider can determine what kind of short or long-term care your injury requires, which is why it is essential that in the event of any personal injury that a person seeks treatment immediately. Aside from the most important thing, your health and well-being, failure to seek treatment can affect your eligibility to file a claim or for the claim to be successful.

In the event of a personal injury, make sure to keep copies of all documents from the other party, the medical treatment sought, and any information which may be pertinent to recovering damages due to time missed from work or other punitive damages.

Further Reading: 

If you have questions about your Florida auto accident case or injury case you can download a FREE copy of Wade Coye’s book, Sharing the Secrets, Learning the Lies: A Guide to Florida Personal Injury by clicking here. You can also contact our expert team at Coye Law by calling (407) 648-4940 today, or by filling out a contact form by clicking here.

Wade B. Coye
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Attorney/Author Wade Coye - serving consumers legal needs for over 27 years