When hospitals, doctors, and medical staff need to decide whether someone’s car accident injury qualifies as an Emergency Medical Condition (EMC), what criteria do they follow? What types of injuries are they looking for?
Florida PIP Statute §627.732 states it this way:
An “emergency medical condition” is defined as a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, which may include severe pain, such that the absence of immediate medical attention would reasonably be expected to result in any of the following:
- Serious jeopardy to patient health
- Serious impairment of bodily function
- Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part
That is the extent of the statute definition of EMC. There is no list of injuries that meet these conditions, only a guideline by which qualified medical personnel can identify when an EMC event takes place.
Therefore, knowing what type of injuries or medical trauma will be classified as an Emergency Medical Condition (EMC) is at best imprecise and open to the interpretation of medical professionals and the court.
When Must an EMC Decision Be Made?
PIP law requires that someone injured in a Florida car accident must be seen by a qualified medical practitioner within 14 days following the accident. Being treated medically within this time enables the injured person to receive PIP coverage of at least the minimum $2500 coverage.
Florida PIP law does not specify when an emergency medical condition should be established; therefore, an EMC does not have to be declared within these 14 days.
This is largely because medical evaluations such as imaging tests (MRI) and other diagnostic procedures and can take longer than 14 days. These tests are often the basis for concluding that the individual sustained an EMC.
If you have been hurt or injured in a car accident call or stop by our dedicated MVA Center today located at 698 Brent Lane in Pensacola, Florida!