You Should Know This!

What You Should Know If You Have Been Involved In An Auto Accident

Some auto accident injuries are hidden and are seldom detected for months or even years.  As a result things can occur when an injury is not taken care of properly or the accident victims settle their case with the insurance companies before getting evaluated from the doctor trained in soft tissue injuries.  This could be a big mistake Why? Because you lose the right to have your insurance company pay for treatment if you need it.  A good rule of thumb is to be informed of your rights and then make a decision. It is our position that if you were indeed injured you should get the care you need to get back to the way you felt and functioned just before the accident.

It is not the responsibility of the insurance company to pay for anything more than that. They are not responsible for preexisting injuries only the injuries sustained from the accident.  Even if you are just sore you should get checked out immediately because you may experience pain, numbness, headaches, muscle stiffness, fatigue, and other problems including arthritis many months down the road.  Remember nothing is more important than your health especially when you start to lose it.

Why go to a Chiropractor?

As a matter of fact most doctors are not trained in the detection of these hidden injuries.  If you have been in an auto accident you need a doctor who is trained in the biomechanics of the human body, someone who treats these injuries every day.  In addition xrays can be taken to find out if there has been any structural damage.  In our office we evaluate auto accident victims and make any appropriate referrals to other health care providers if needed.

Our primary responsibility is giving you the care if you need it and submitting the required medical reports to the insurance company and your attorney so your rights are protected.

If you have been in an auto accident recently there are important decisions you have to make and if I were you I would make the decisions very carefully.

Chiropractic Treatment

The doctor of chiropractic is a specialist in spinal musculoskeletal disorders. He or she is expertly trained to diagnose and treat the many musculoskeletal injuries that may occur in an accident or in your daily life. Upon injury the individual often alters the normal position or flexibility of the spinal vertebrae. Chiropractic treatment is designed to restore normal alignment and thus minimize pain and suffering. Gentle manipulative therapy or "adjustment" is often effective in rapidly returning the injured person to a productive status. The doctor of chiropractic can also provide guidance with advice designed to reduce work-related injuries, proper lifting procedures and therapeutic stretching exercises.

Know Your Rights

We are specializing in treating your case individually and getting you the best settlements

  1. Florida is no fault state, no matter who gets the ticket you are entitled to receive treatment.
  2. If the accident is not your fault insurance companies cannot raise your insurance premium even if you have been treated for injuries.
  3. If you don’t have a legal status in the US you are still entitled to receive a minimum of $10,000.00 for treatment of medical benefits.
  4. Many people don’t know that you have up to 1 year from the date of the accident to pursue medical and chiropractic care. However it is best that you seek care as soon as possible.
  5. Under the State of Florida Law you are entitled to receive a minimum of $10,000.00 for medical & chiropractic care.

Do Not Do This After An Accident

  1. Do not give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company. It can be used against you later on. You want to control your case and the release of information. Insurance companies must ask you for your permission in order to record an interview.
  2. Do not make friendly conversation with the adjuster. Stick to business only and only tell them the “Who”, “What”, “When”, and “Where” not the “How”. Keep your answers short use “Yes” and “No”.
  3. Do not give out information about your family or let them know who your doctors are.
  4. Do not sign a medical release. Federal law protects your medical records. The insurance companies may use this release to dig through all your medical history even things not related to the car accident.

Florida No Fault Insurance

No Fault Insurance describes any auto insurance that both requires drivers to carry insurance for their own protection and limits their ability to sue other drivers for damages. Under the no fault law your auto insurance company will pay for your damages (Up to your policy limits) regardless of whom was at fault for the accident. Any other drivers involved will be covered by their own auto insurance policies.

Under a pure no fault system drivers would be completely covered by their own policy and would be barred from suing another driver for damages. No state however uses a pure system. Florida uses parts of both the no fault system and the standard liability system (under which you are financially responsible for the cost of damages you cause). Florida still permits lawsuits in certain cases. The primary benefit to no fault  insurance is that it guarantees every driver immediate medical treatment in the event of an accident.

The actual no fault part of your auto insurance policy is called personal injury protection or PIP.

Your Medical Benefits under PIP Law

The personal injury protection (PIP) law Florida Statute (627.736(1), requires every insurance company writing PIP policies to pay the following benefit following an auto accident:

80% of all reasonable expenses for necessary medical, surgical, xray, dental and rehabilitation service including prosthetic devices and necessary ambulance, hospital and nursing services. Such benefits shall include necessary remedial treatment and services recognized and permitted under the law of this state for an injured person who relies upon spiritual means through prayer alone for healing, in accordance with his religious beliefs.

Medical Payment Coverage

Medical Payment Coverage is separate and distinct from PIP benefits whereas the PIP benefits will pay only 80% of the incurred medical expenses. Medical Payment Coverage will pay the remaining 20% of the incurred medical expenses. Should the PIP coverage be exhausted the full $10,000.00 being paid, the medical payment coverage will begin paying 100% of the incurred medical expenses until such coverage is exhausted. Medical pay is optional.  It is like gap insurance for your car.

The Deductible

Insurance companies have been permitted to offer an array of optional deductibles. In 1982 the Florida Legislature reduced the optional deductibles amounts to $250.00, $500.00, $1000.00 and $2000.00.

Under Florida Statue 627.739.(1) an individual may elect a deductible on PIP coverage to apply to the individual alone or to the individual ( and dependant, relatives residing in the same household). This deductible does not apply to any other person covered under the policy (ie, passenger who is not a dependant, relative, pedestrian or bicyclist). The amount payable by the insurance company when the PIP policy carries a deductible is computed by multiplying the total medical expenses by 80% and thereafter substracting the deductible.

Independent Medical Examinations (IME)

Whenever the physical or mental condition of the insured is “material” to any claim for benefits the insurance company can require the patient to submit to an (IME). Unlike cases involving liability insurance PIP insurance companies select physicians of their choice. It is important to note that the right of the insurance company to obtain such exams is an integral part of the NO-Fault Law. Accordingly, the patient/insured's refusal to submit to a PIP independent medical exam (even when such refusal is on the advise of counsel) may constitute a material breach of the insurance contract.  This will release the insurance company from further liability for payment.

If you've suffered as a result of an automobile accident or have anymore questions, please feel free to either email us or call us for a free consultation by calling at 305-406-9636 or 1-800-516-5134.

Had An Accident?

Here's What To Do

  1. Help everyone to a safe place
  2. Don't move your car unless instructed by someone in authority
  3. Assist the injured
  4. Call 911, Request police, medical and fire assistant as necessary
  5. Do NOT discuss the accident with anyone but police
  6. Turn on hazard lights and put out markers and flares as appropriate
  7. Exchange information with all drivers involved in the accident
  8. Get names, addresses and phone numbers of all witnesses
  9. Get photographs of vehicles and other objects involved. Include skid marks, if any, and full views of scene
  10. Write down everything the others involved in the accident say about it and everything you can remember as soon as you can