Can You Still Sue If You Didn’t See a Doctor After Your Accident?
The hours and days following a serious car accident can be a stressful time. It can also be a confusing time, especially if you are not immediately aware of how severe your injuries are. It is not unusual for a person to initially feel fine, only for pain and stiffness to creep in later. Unfortunately, delaying medical treatment or avoiding it entirely can be problematic for a personal injury claim.
While failing to seek medical treatment immediately after an accident can make obtaining financial recovery challenging, it does not have to derail your claim. A New York City personal injury lawyer can establish the amount of damages you are entitled to receive, and help you navigate the complex legal process.
The importance of seeking medical treatment
It is vital to seek medical treatment after an accident. Even if your injuries seem minor, it is in your best interest to seek treatment straight away. The human body naturally responds to trauma by releasing endorphins that can mask pain in the short term. When those endorphins wear off, this pain can show up quickly.
In addition to endorphins masking pain, some symptoms of an injury do not manifest right away. This is especially common with traumatic brain injuries like concussions. In some cases, these symptoms may not become evident for weeks or even months. Seeking medical treatment can be beneficial, as a doctor could diagnose these conditions before the symptoms are apparent to you.
Diagnosis is not the only aspect of your medical treatment that should not wait. For many injuries, treatment is most effective if it occurs early on in the process. In some cases, waiting to treat an injury can add substantially to your recovery time.
How insurance companies will use your refusal to seek medical treatment against you
In addition to your physical health, the failure to seek medical care can also harm the viability of your personal injury claim. There are several ways that the defense can use your refusal to seek medical care against you.
Insurance companies might allege that your injury is exaggerated or did not exist in the first place. They might also suggest that you are injured, but it did not occur in the accident. It could mean you had a pre-existing condition before the accident, or that you suffered an unrelated injury after the crash and are fraudulently seeking compensation for it.
Finally, the insurance companies and their lawyers could argue that your failure to seek medical treatment is primarily responsible for the severity of your injuries. You had a duty to mitigate your injuries, and failing to seek medical treatment resulted in your condition becoming worse, which could’ve been avoided.
Pursuing a claim after refusing treatment
It might sound like pursuing an injury claim after refusing medical treatment is impossible, but that is not the case. While immediate medical care is ideal, it is not too late to seek treatment. Experienced attorneys could work with you to maximize your chances of financial recovery.
Contact Douglas & London for a free consultation
In addition to the risks of delaying medical care after an accident, you should also be aware of the legal deadlines that apply. There is a lot at stake for your injury claim, which makes it vital that you seek legal counsel right away. At Douglas & London, we are prepared to evaluate your claim regardless of whether you have sought medical care or not. To learn how we can help, schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer from Douglas & London today.