The 14-Day Rule

In many areas of life, there is nothing wrong with a little patience. For instance, you might want to sit back and think before buying a new car or quitting your job. But while patience may be a virtue, there is one time when you don’t want to wait.

The Importance of Medical Care

If you are involved in a car accident in Florida, you should seek medical treatment for any related injuries within 14 days of the accident. For starters, this is because medical care is critical in the hours and days following an accident. Car crashes can lead to a variety of injuries, including:

  • Head and neck injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal injuries and paralysis
  • Retinal detachment and other eye injuries
  • Mouth injuries

Injuries like these require prompt medical attention. In other cases, someone may be experiencing pain , but be unsure of whether it is a serious injury. When this happens, a doctor will be able to diagnose any issues and recommend the necessary treatment. If you are feeling any type of pain after an accident, it is important to immediately seek a professional opinion.

What is PIP?

However, your health isn’t the only reason why you should seek medical treatment within 14 days of your accident. If you want to receive insurance coverage for your injuries, it is also important to seek prompt medical care. This is because of rules concerning Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance in Florida. PIP is a type of no-fault insurance that covers medical bills and lost wages. Vehicle owners in Florida are required to have a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage. It can be a major help in dealing with financial stress after a car accident.

The 14 Day Rule

If someone does not treat within 14 days, though, is may jeopardize their ability to benefit from PIP. In fact, PIP will generally not cover any medical bills if someone fails to treat within 14 days. If someone does not seek treatment, their insurance company might interpret their failure to treat as a sign that they are not really injured. This is mainly to cut down on insurance fraud, but can cause major issues for people who do not know about the 14 day rule. Failing to treat can also decrease the chances of a successful legal claim against the person who caused the accident, because the at-fault person could argue that since they didn’t need medical treatment, they aren’t really injured.

Due to the 14 day rule within PIP coverage, it is critical to seek treatment after a car accident, if for minor pain. It is often beneficial to seek treatment even if there is no pain immediately after the car accident, as some injuries, like whiplash, take a few days to manifest. You do not want to wait, only to develop pain after the 14 day period has passed!

If you have been injured in a car accident, you may have many questions about  justice, compensation, and insurance, but seeking medical treatment should always be your first step!


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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