Being involved in a motor vehicle crash is a stressful event. If you are injured, it is important to be aware of the personal injury protection benefits you may be entitled to. All divers in Florida must carry personal injury protection benefits on their automobile insurance policy. Other terms you may hear used to describe personal injury protection are “PIP” or “no-fault” coverage. This coverage is mandatory and causes a driver to be “self-insured” for medical expenses relating to motor vehicle accidents, whether one is at fault or not. Eighty percent, up to at least $10,000.00, of all reasonable expenses for medically necessary treatment may be paid out of your personal injury protection benefits, but there are certain requirements and exceptions to the personal injury protection benefits. One requirement is that an injured party must seek treatment within fourteen (14) days of the motor vehicle crash in order to obtain personal injury protection benefits. This time restraint is a recently enacted reform to the former personal injury protection benefits statute, where previously there was no time limit to treat in order to attain PIP benefits. Thus, it is important to follow recent changes to ensure you get the personal injury protection benefits coverage you may deserve. If you miss this fourteen (14) day cut-off, the insurance company no longer has the obligation to provide you with PIP coverage, and you may be liable for any medical expenses incurred and have to pay out-of-pocket for them. The statute that mandates the aforementioned requirements and exceptions is Florida Statute §627.736. Section (1)(a), in particular, states, “[e]ighty percent of all reasonable expenses for medically necessary medical, surgical, X-ray, dental, and rehabilitative services, including prosthetic devices and medically necessary ambulance, hospital, and nursing services” may be awarded “if the individual receives initial services and care…within 14 days after the motor vehicle accident.” If you wish to review the “required personal injury protection benefits” statute in its entirety, you can refer to the following link: Florida Statute §627.736. Furthermore, there will only be reimbursement for services and care of up to $10,000.00 in personal injury protection benefits if a physician, as defined under Florida Statute §627.736, has determined that the injured person has an emergency medical condition. However, it is important to note that the emergency medical condition does not have to be established at or during this fourteen (14) day time-frame; rather, the time-frame only applies to initial treatment, and the additional requirement of meeting the emergency medical condition can come at a later time if your doctor finds that it has been established. Thus, you can continue to treat beyond the fourteen (14) days to exhaust all $10,000.00 of your personal injury protection coverage. The legislature has enacted these laws to prevent fraud; however, it is possible for pain and symptoms from a traumatic or permanent injury to become evident at a later time. Even if your pain and symptoms have manifested after this fourteen day time-frame, you may still be able to make a claim for bodily injury insurance or uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits. If you have been injured in an automobile collision, whether it is before or after this fourteen day PIP requirement, call Dennis Hernandez & Associates, P.A. for a free consultation at (855)LAW-DENNIS or visit www.dennishernandez.com for more information.