Where Can I Find a Car Accident Doctor in Fort Myers?12800 University Drive, Suite 600
Fort Myers, FL 33907
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Car Accident Doctor in Fort Myers, Florida
With an overall lower cost of living than other Florida cities, Fort Myers attracts people who want to enjoy affordable coastal living. It's ranked as the "#1 Fastest-Growing City in the United States," according to U.S. News and World Report, and with the influx of new arrivals, of course, the risk of motor vehicle collisions increases. Car crashes are an unfortunate part of life, even in the family-friendly city of Fort Myers. When you're involved in a car crash, it's reasonable that you would be searching for "car accident doctors near me" on the internet.
Seeing a car accident doctor shortly after a crash in Fort Myers is crucial for two reasons. The first is, of course, your health. The second reason is due to Florida's no-fault insurance law and your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. You have just 14 days to seek medical care after a car accident. If you miss that deadline, your insurance company may deny your claim, and you may get stuck paying for your own expenses.
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Why does the 14-day rule exist in Florida?
There are two reasons for the 14-day rule. The first reason is that waiting any longer to see a doctor can make injuries worse. A delay in medical care can even be deadly if you have internal injuries that aren't apparent right away.
The second reason is so that there is a clear link between your injuries and the car crash for insurance purposes. It's hard to prove there is a causal link between the two the longer you wait. Your insurance company may argue that your pain and discomfort might be caused by a lifestyle choice instead of the collision if you put off seeing a doctor. We always recommend seeing a doctor as soon as possible after an accident for these two reasons.
Getting medical attention after a Fort Myers car accident
The law governing getting medical attention after a Florida car accident says your insurance company must provide compensation for medical care as long as you abide by the 14-day rule. Your PIP insurance must cover 80 percent of the medical care up to the limits of the policy. If you carry the minimum insurance, the amount is up to $10,000 for an emergency medical condition. If you don't have an emergency medical condition, you can recover up to $2,500 for medical-related expenses.
Florida law defines an emergency medical condition as injuries with acute symptoms that require medical treatment to prevent your health and well-being from being endangered. After you're in a Fort Myers car accident, you can seek medical care from any of the following:
- EMTs (emergency medical care and transportation services)
- Primary care doctors
- Urgent care
- Emergency room
- Specialist doctors
- Outpatient center run by a hospital
- Medical services in a hospital
However, PIP benefits do not cover acupuncture or massage therapy even if a physician provides the treatment.
What should I discuss with a car accident doctor?
Whenever seeing a doctor after a car accident, you should tell them you've been in a car accident and be totally upfront with them. Describe what you're feeling in detail so they can treat you for your injuries and also so it can be documented. Documentation is crucial when it comes to getting compensation from your insurance company. Still, also, if your injuries are severe, you will need documentation to sue the at-fault driver if PIP benefits aren't sufficient.
Depending on the level of your injuries, you may need to see multiple doctors and specialists. One doctor may not be able to treat multiple types of injuries.
What kind of doctor treats a head injury?
The first doctor who will examine you will be an emergency room doctor in many cases. This person will be able to diagnose the injury and confirm if it isn't serious. Beyond that, they'll likely refer you to a specialist like a neurosurgeon or a neurologist. While in the emergency room, you may be asked questions about the collision, like how fast you were going, where you were sitting, and the angle where you were hit, to narrow down the injury.
A neuroradiologist will work to identify the type of head injury via CT scans, MRIs, or X-rays. A neurosurgeon can perform surgery if it's needed, but they can also explore less invasive options for treatment. A neurologist can treat a traumatic brain injury or concussion. You may also be referred to a neuropsychologist if you have ongoing symptoms after a head injury.
What kind of doctor treats a spinal injury?
When you go to the emergency room, the doctor examining you may be able to rule out spinal cord injury. However, if you complain of neck pain, aren't fully awake, or have other obvious signs like weakness, they will likely run emergency diagnostic tests like CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays. Suppose you do have a spinal cord injury. In that case, you'll be admitted to intensive care or transferred to a spine injury center to be treated by neurosurgeons, spinal cord medicine specialists, and orthopedic surgeons.
What kind of doctor treats soft tissue injury?
In a car crash, soft tissue injuries are likely and usually impact shoulders, ankles, knees, wrists, and elbows. Muscle strains and sprains can often be treated by a general practitioner or even a nurse. However, an orthopedic surgeon's intervention may be required for more serious injuries. This kind of doctor can also develop a program for rehabilitation to restore the function of the injured site.
What kind of doctor treats whiplash?
Just as with soft tissue injuries, a regular doctor can often treat whiplash. However, it's orthopedic doctors that specialize in the musculoskeletal system. They will likely run a range of diagnostic tests like X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans and develop a treatment plan that may include bracing and medication. However, you may need additional treatment from a physical therapist or a chiropractor until the pain goes away.
What kind of doctor treats internal injuries?
An internist treats conditions affecting internal organs, but they only treat adults. They generally have a broad understanding of many types of conditions that affect internal organs. However, in an emergency situation, you may need a trauma surgeon. A trauma surgeon can treat blunt trauma injuries, which often occur from a forceful impact such as a car accident.
What if my insurance company isn't compensating me fairly?
After a car accident, you should file a PIP insurance claim with the insurance company and get compensated for your medical expenses as outlined in your contract. But what happens if they won't deal fairly with you? Perhaps they won't pay you at all. In cases like these, you do have legal recourse in the form of a lawsuit against the company. Breach of a contract or bad faith insurance law is a means to force the insurance company to honor their agreement.
Insurance companies are not allowed to avoid paying a legitimate claim. If you did everything right and obeyed all the rules, they have no right to deny your claim. In Florida, you have five years to bring a breach of contract claim according to the statute of limitations. Our car accident attorneys can help you recover the compensation owed to you under the terms of your contract.
Can you sue for pain and suffering from a car accident in Florida?
Unfortunately, you cannot sue for pain and suffering after a car accident under Florida state law unless your injuries fall into specific categories. Pain and suffering are considered non-economic damages, which are different from medical bills. To sue for pain and suffering damages, your injuries must be a significant loss of bodily function. An example would be amputation or loss of eyesight.
You may also sue if your injuries are permanent such as paralysis or a herniated disc. Permanent disfigurement and scarring are also reasons to sue for pain and suffering, such as if you had severe burns from the accident. Finally, survivors can sue for pain and suffering in the event of wrongful death.
Calculating what pain and suffering are worth is a difficult process. A jury has to consider many different factors depending on the victim's personal circumstances. For example, if an individual is paralyzed, their pain and suffering award may be significant.
Will I get punitive damages for my Fort Myers car accident?
Punitive damages are a judicial penalty for egregious acts. It's a means for the court to punish the negligent party if gross negligence was at play in the accident. For example, if you were hit by a commercial truck and the truck had known significant issues that would make it dangerous to be on the road, yet the truck company didn't address it, that could be considered gross negligence.
However, Florida has a cap on punitive damages. The award amount is limited to three times the amount of compensatory damages, or $500,000, whichever is greater.
How can our car accident lawyers help?
When you search for car accident doctors near me, that's a key indicator that you've been seriously hurt in a car accident. Our goal is to make things easier for you and make sure your rights are protected. While some Florida laws can be frustrating due to their limitations on compensation, our car accident lawyers are well-versed in working with doctors to maximize the amount you can recover. We will work with you at every stage of your claim and handle all communication with the insurance companies. You deserve to be compensated for your injuries, and we take the stress of pursuing compensation off your shoulders. Contact us today for a free case evaluation, and we can discuss how our attorneys can help.