Sometimes, car accident victims can walk away from the scene thinking they are fine, only to discover what they thought was a minor ache or pain is a more severe injury. If you did not realize you were injured until weeks after your accident, you should seek medical treatment as soon as you suspect you are hurt.
See a Doctor Immediately
You may believe that if you have a severe injury, you would have required treatment at the scene of your accident. However, this is not true. Even serious injuries may not be apparent right away. For example, according to MedlinePlus, injuries to the pelvis, neck, abdomen, groin, and chest can appear mild but may cause internal bleeding that can result in shock and death.
Other injuries that may not be immediately apparent include, but are not limited to:
- Soft tissue injuries (i.e., damage to the tendons, muscles, or ligaments)
- Back and spinal injuries
- Bone fractures
- Nerve injuries
- Organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
As soon as you suspect you have suffered an injury, you should seek medical treatment. This prevents your condition from worsening and creates a medical record for any insurance claims or lawsuits you pursue.
Get Started on Your Insurance Claim as Soon as Possible
Once you know you have an injury and need treatment, you should notify the at-fault driver’s insurance company and begin working on a bodily injury liability claim. If the insurance company contacts you, do not sign a waiver dismissing your claims and do not accept any settlement offers until you understand the full extent of your injuries and necessary medical care.
Be aware that the elapsed time between your accident and your insurance claim could complicate your settlement and make it more difficult to secure a financial recovery. For example, the insurance company may allege your injuries did not result from your accident or that the cost of your treatment is due to your delay in seeking care. An attorney with our firm can help you negotiate a fair settlement.
What Can You Recover for Your Injury?
If a negligent or reckless driver caused your accident, you can seek recovery for a variety of losses, including:
You can recover the cost of your medical bills and future accident-related medical care, including:
- Doctor visits
- Emergency department treatment
- Diagnostic testing (x-rays, CT scans, MRIs)
- Mobility aids or medical equipment
- Physical therapy
- Cognitive rehabilitation
- Hospital stays
- Medical travel expenses
Lost Wages and Household Services
Treating and recovering from your injuries may mean time lost at work. You can seek the value of your lost wages, benefits, and earnings. In addition, you may qualify to recover the loss of your future earning potential if you cannot return to your previous job because of your injuries.
While you recover, you may need help with everyday tasks like driving, cooking, and cleaning. You can pursue the value of these and other household services.
Pain and Suffering
Severe injuries can change your way of life. You may recover pain and suffering for the mental, physical, and emotional impact of your injuries, including:
- Loss of mobility or paralysis
- Chronic pain
- Loss of cognitive functioning
- Depression, anxiety, and stress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If your loved one suffered a fatal car accident injury, you can seek financial recovery on their behalf. In Texas, the deceased’s surviving spouse, children, or parents can pursue a wrongful death action, according to Texas law. Losses may include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills
- The deceased’s lost earning capacity
- Lost inheritance the deceased would have saved had they lived
- Loss of the deceased’s services, support, counsel, and care
- Surviving family members’ pain and suffering
How Will the Statute of Limitations Affect Your Case?
A delay of a few weeks will not prevent you from seeking a financial recovery, but you must pursue your case before the statute of limitations expires. According to Texas law, you generally have two years from your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. The statute also allows two years from your loved one’s time of death to file a wrongful death action.
Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ Today
Not seeking medical treatment or filing an insurance claim until weeks after your accident can make pursuing an insurance settlement more difficult. Our attorneys can prove another driver’s actions caused your injury and help you fight for the financial recovery you need to pay for your care.
We will handle every aspect of your case, from filing your claim to enlisting the help of medical experts to testify on your behalf. We can even help you schedule doctor appointments, whether or not you have health insurance. To learn more, call us at 1 (855) PRO-LAWYERS for a free case evaluation.
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