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Beginning Jan. 1, people injured in auto accidents will have 14 days to seek initial treatment — under current law there is no cutoff — and that first visit will carry more weight.
Only people diagnosed with an "emergency medical condition" will be eligible for the full $10,000 PIP benefit. Medical doctors, osteopathic physicians, dentists, physician assistants or advanced registered nurse practitioners will be authorized to make the determination.
Those with less severe injuries will receive only $2,500. Soft-tissue injuries that are common in car accidents, such as soreness, swelling and bruising, are not expected to be considered emergencies.
Although a wide selection of medical professionals will still be allowed to treat accident victims, including physical therapists and chiropractors, they will be expected to perform necessary screenings and treatments for $2,500 or less.