Recently, our firm heard a story about a woman who had been in a serious car accident—but luckily, only suffered minor back pain and whiplash. Because her injuries were so minor, she decided not to go to the doctor. However, a month later, she was on a boat when she fell and threw out her back. The resulting injury left her hospitalized for three weeks.
When the doctors looked at her back, they realized that her back was still seriously damaged from the car accident the previous month, but it didn’t manifest until much later. Her car accident was caused by someone else, and the other driver’s insurance company already assumed responsibility.
The question became: could she file her costs from the hospital stay under the claim?
It All Hinges on What She Can Prove
In cases like this, whether or not she can claim the delayed injury comes down to paperwork. In fact, whether or not anyone can claim delayed injury comes down to paperwork. This is why we urge all of our clients to get seen by a doctor as soon as possible. Plaintiffs need to establish the extent of their injuries as soon as possible.
Because if there’s only a day between your accident and your doctor’s visit, it’s much harder for the insurance company to argue that you’re “faking” it (or that the injury was from something else). If there’s a month between the accident and the treatment, it’s far easier for the insurance company to claim that you’re just trying to put a new injury on the claim.
If there’s a month and there was another “incident” between your hospital visit and the car accident? The case ends up becoming much harder to prove in your favor.
Your Lawyer Is On Your Side. Trust Them.
For clients who have been injured in accidents, it’s our general position that they should be seeking medical care immediately—physical therapy, surgery, or anything else they need. It not only means a better outcome as a patient, but medical treatment ensures their injury is documented.
We’ve had clients who have had a hard time seeking medical care, and we work with them to make sure it suits their schedule. But ultimately, as much as medical care disrupts our lives, the quickest way to get “back to normal” is to endure some disruption in the present.
Have questions about your case? Think you have a case but don’t know for sure? Call Arnold & Itkin at (888) 493-1629—we’re happy to answer your questions and help you take the next step.