When You Didn't See a Doctor Immediately after Your Accident, Do You Have a Chance of Collecting Damages?

Posted on: 26 January 2016

When you're in a car accident, it's always recommended that you go to the doctor to be checked out. This way, if there are any injuries, it will be clear that they were caused by the car accident and you should not have a lot of trouble collecting money to cover your medical costs (either from your insurance company, the other driver's insurance company, or the other driver's personal funds). What happens when you don't follow this advice? If an injury shows up a day or two after the accident and you waited to see the doctor, do you have any chance of collecting money to cover the damages? It won't be easy—but if you follow the tips below, you might be able to.

Go to the doctor immediately.

Don't waste another second or wait and see if it gets better. If you have any inkling that the symptoms you're experiencing are due to the accident, get to a doctor right away. If your own doctor can't get you in that day, head to an urgent care center. Tell the physician that you were in an accident, when it happened, and how the car was hit. This way, they will know what to look for and should also be able to generate some sort of statement as to whether or not, in their professional opinion, the symptoms were caused by the accident. Having a doctor state that the injuries were likely caused by the accident will go a long way towards helping you win your case.

Hire a lawyer.

If you had gone to the doctor right away after the accident, you might have been able to handle this process on your own, but now you're fighting a bit of an uphill battle and will really need a lawyer's help. Look for someone who has experience with personal injuries related to car accidents. Ask if they have experience handling cases in which the injured party delayed seeking medical attention and whether they were able to win those cases. Click here for more information about personal injury lawyers.

Start documenting everything.

The big problem many people run into when they try to claim that they were injured in an accident but did not seek medical attention right away is that the other party (or insurance company) tries to argue that the injury is made up. The more documentation you have in terms of what pain you're experiencing, how it is affecting your life, and when it arises, the harder it will be for others to claim that you're just "making it up." Keep a journal in which you note all of the details of the injury you're experiencing, when you seek medical attention, where you seek that attention, other measures you take to ease the pain, etc. Put dates and times next to each entry.

Stay away from other risky activities.

This is not the time to go snowboarding, ride a bike, climb a ladder onto your roof, or hike off into the wilderness. You never know who will see you partaking in these activities. If the other driver's lawyer or someone who works for the insurance company spots you, then they might have reason to suspect your injuries have a cause other than the car accident. Lay low and stay safe, even if the symptoms you're experiencing are rather minor and wouldn't keep you from being active.

Start seeking out witnesses.

People who saw the accident occur might come in helpful as you pursue your case. They may be able to vouch for the fact that the damage was pretty bad and that it's reasonable to assume you were injured. Contact the police station for the accident report; it may list witnesses, and the responding officer can also serve as a witness. Your lawyer may actually make this call for you.

Collecting reimbursement for medical expenses expenses following an accident is a whole lot harder when you delayed seeking medical treatment. However, doing so is not impossible. With the tips above and the guidance of a good personal injury attorney, you at least stand a chance of winning your case.