What to Do If You Didn’t See a Doctor After Your Injury

August 3rd, 2020

When you are seriously injured after an accident, there is no question that you need to go to the hospital. But many Louisiana residents are injured in minor crashes and other small accidents every day without getting medical treatment afterward.

Maybe you weren’t in pain, or you thought your injuries were minor and would get better on their own, so you hoped to avoid an unnecessary doctor’s bill. This is common!

But there’s a reason why we strongly urge our clients and accident victims, no matter how minor their injuries may seem initially, to see a doctor right away. That’s because injuries can worsen over time, and when they don’t get better on their own, these unfortunate victims will have made it significantly harder to get the compensation they need by refusing medical treatment.

Have I Lost My Right to File a Claim If I Didn’t See a Doctor After My Accident?

No, you can file a personal injury lawsuit anytime up to one year from the date of the accident in Louisiana.

However, it will be harder to win your claim if you didn’t get medical treatment immediately after the accident. This is because it will be more difficult to prove that your injuries occurred during the accident (and thus are the fault of the defendant) and not afterward.

For example, if you only see a doctor after months of pain following a car crash, the insurance company will be highly skeptical if you file a compensation claim then. That’s because, from their perspective, your injuries could have many other causes and could have even occurred weeks after the crash—and you’ll have no evidence to suggest otherwise. 

Additionally, you likely will not be able to get as much compensation as you otherwise would have, as the insurance company will argue that you are not as injured as you claim or you would have seen a doctor sooner. But since injuries can worsen over time, you may actually need more compensation to treat your injuries.

What Should I Do If My Injuries Don’t Get Better on Their Own After an Accident?

As soon as you notice your injuries are not getting better or your pain is getting worse, see a doctor. Regardless of whether it has been just a few days or more than a month after the accident, seeing a doctor as soon as possible is still the best thing you can do for your case and your health.

This will get you treatment to prevent your injuries from getting worse, and reduce the amount of time and number of activities that could be blamed for your injuries aside from the accident.

Why Injuries Show Delayed Symptoms

One reason why you might not feel injured after a crash is simply because car crashes are frightening and chaotic. The state of shock and adrenaline your body produces during and after a crash can temporarily mask the pain of an injury. This is similar to the way an athlete may play through an injury, not having realized they were hurt until after the game.

The type of injury you suffered may also be a reason why your injuries aren’t immediately obvious at the scene of the accident. If you’ve ever had an especially tough workout at the gym, you’ll know that soreness usually peaks a day or even two days later! This is also true of soft tissue injuries to the back, shoulders, and neck caused from the g-forces of a car crash (commonly called whiplash).

Concussions may also be hard to recognize right away when they don’t cause loss of consciousness. Some symptoms include inability to concentrate, sleeping more or less than usual, headaches, nausea, and a general lack of energy.

Internal bleeding and organ damage are life-threatening conditions that can be caused by car crashes, but as symptoms can be dismissed as simple bruising or swelling around the abdomen, they can also go undiagnosed for days.

Dudley DeBosier Can Help

If you were injured in an accident through no fault of your own and didn’t see a doctor right away, you may still be able to get the compensation you need to cover the treatment of your injuries with the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Contact our firm today to speak to a lawyer about your case. Your initial consultation is always free, and we promise that if we don’t get you money, you owe us nothing.