What Happens if Car Accident Injuries Don’t Show Up Right Away?

Some Injuries Show Up Only After the Fact

Car accidents can obviously be deeply damaging—in fact, they can sometimes be fatal. It’s not uncommon for those who are involved in car accidents to sustain significant injuries. On the other hand, just because you walk away from an accident without any obvious injuries, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of the woods. An injury could present itself at a later date and leave you in need of medical care. And, if you neglected to have that injury assessed in the first place, it could also imperil any legal standing you might have.

Some Injuries Show Up Only After the Fact

There are a few important points to make here, but the first is simply this: When you’re in a car accident, you may have injuries that show up only after some time has passed.

While something like a broken bone will probably be obvious at the scene, other common injuries—internal trauma or bruising, stiffness in the back or neck, etc.—may take a few days to manifest.

In other words, just because you don’t feel hurt, that doesn’t mean you haven’t been injured. It’s possible to be injured in a car accident and not know about it.

Legal Implications of Missed Injuries

If you discover an injury after the fact, you may decide to take legal action—perhaps filing a belated insurance claim to receive compensation for any medical expenses.

However, if you never sought any medical care in the immediate aftermath of the accident, your insurance company may deny your claim. They may say you caused or worsened the condition in your refusal to seek treatment or that your injury was caused by something other than the accident.

You can challenge this in court, of course—but if you never sought medical care following the accident, you might not have a legal leg to stand on.

Practical Advice

What does all this ultimately mean for those who are involved in car accidents? A few tips come to mind.

  • Seek medical care following an accident. Even if you don’t feel like you need medical care, you should still go to your doctor or to a local urgent care facility. Go as soon after the accident as possible. The worst case scenario is that you spend an hour or so getting checked out and it turns out there’s nothing wrong. Alternatively, doctors might catch an underlying injury and get you the care you need. If nothing else, you’re covering all your legal bases.
  • Keep records of any doctor visits. Make sure you hold on to any paperwork and/or receipts you receive during your doctor’s visit. You never know when such records might come in handy.
  • Follow the doctor’s orders. If your physician recommends that you take medicine, get physical therapy, or come back for a follow-up visit, do it—again, even if you don’t feel like you “need” to. An insurance company may argue that by failing to follow your doctor’s advice, you caused the damages.
  • Consult an attorney. If you do have injuries and need to get compensated for out-of-pocket medical expenses or lost wages, get a personal injury attorney who can fight your case for you.

That’s where McLaurin Law Firm comes in. We have ample experience representing those injured in car and truck accidents throughout the State of Texas, and in Houston in particular. We also boast a winning record: When we choose to fight for a client, we usually get them the compensation they deserve.

Any time you need a car accident lawyer in West Houston, give McLaurin Law Firm a call.

Posted in Personal Injury

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