Whenever anyone is involved in a traffic accident caused by another driver, it is the last thing they wanted to deal with. Shocked out of the routine of your busy day, broken out of the course of events, nobody wants to deal with the aftermath of an accident, least of all, leaving your car and seeking medical treatment. So, quite often, people don't seek medical treatment right away after an accident. Sometimes for reasons related to work or other responsibilities, people wait several days to actually seek treatment following a car accident.
Medical Reasons Not to Delay Treatment
Delaying treatment in auto accident cases can be a serious mistake for several reasons. For obvious reasons, it can mean a worsening or prolonging of the injuries resulting from the accident. Injuries like soft tissue injuries or brain injuries resulting from auto collisions, for instance, don't manifest symptoms sometimes for weeks, maybe even months later.
A fractured arm or leg that only surfaces days later with perhaps, pain or swelling can become seriously aggravated without immediate treatment, which can cause even more harm in the long run.
Legal Reasons Not to Delay Treatment
If that same arm or leg becomes worse and you do seek medical treatment for what has become an even graver condition, the initial delay may hurt your chances to recover medical damages from the at-fault driver in your case.
In the eyes of the law, the at-fault driver may only be responsible for the initial injuries you suffered following the accident. Because you delayed treatment, your condition worsened to one for which the at-fault driver was not responsible, complicating your claim for damages considerably.
Additionally, insurers often see a delay in treatment as acknowledgement that injuries resulting from the accident were not serious in the first place. An accident victim who returns to their daily routine for a week before actually seeing a physician for injuries they are supposed to have suffered in the accident may have actually suffered those injuries at the gym, at work or at home working in the yard. Who is to say that any harm you actually suffered as a result of the accident was not minor in nature and any demand for damages aren't simply based on an exaggeration of injuries if you did not seek medical attention immediately following the accident?
You leave the door open to these kinds of defenses when you delay seeking medical treatment after an accident for a week or even a day. It's important to ensure the protection of your right to seek damages fully in your case.
Seek the counsel of a skilled personal injury attorney like those of Panio Law Offices in Chicago if you have been injured in a car accident. We work hard to recover the highest awards for which our clients are eligible. And there is no fee for our service unless we recover damages. Call us today at (708) 928-8680. We can help.