Not all injuries require emergency medical attention, but if you plan to file a personal injury claim, it’s important that you visit a physician right away. Putting off a medical evaluation could allow your injuries to progress, which might lead to higher healthcare costs and a less favorable prognosis.
The insurance company, in turn, may argue that the delay in treatment is evidence that the injury was not that bad or that it was not caused by the alleged wrongdoer’s misconduct. Under these circumstances you could be held partially liable for your medical expenses and other losses. Also, certain types of injuries usually require prompt treatment for pain and other symptoms. If you don’t obtain a timely diagnosis, the insurer might argue that you didn’t suffer the injuries that you’re claiming or that they were pre-existing.
The bottom line: Getting prompt diagnosis is essential for protecting both your health and your legal rights.
Try to Visit Your Doctor Within 48 Hours
Depending on the nature of the injury, most insurance companies consider 48 hours after an injury-causing incident to be a reasonable amount of time in which to seek medical treatment. If you have health insurance, call your primary care provider and explain your situation—that you need to be seen within 48 hours for insurance claim purposes. If that’s not possible, seek treatment from another healthcare provider or visit an urgent care center. If you don’t have health insurance, go to an urgent care center or the emergency room of your local hospital.
Of course, it’s best to have the evaluation the same day of the incident that caused the injury. The sooner you receive an official diagnosis, the easier it may be for your attorney to tie your injuries to the wrongdoer’s misconduct, and the less ammunition the insurance company will have to dispute your claim.
My Symptoms Were Latent—Can I Still File a Claim?
It’s not uncommon for certain injuries to go unnoticed for several days or even weeks. For example, soft tissue damage and brain trauma can both present latent symptoms. Fortunately, as long as you haven’t signed a release from the insurance company to collect a quick settlement, you may still be able to seek compensation for your medical bills and other damages.
As soon as you notice the signs or symptoms of an injury, visit your doctor right away for a diagnosis. Once your health has stabilized, call a personal injury attorney to discuss your case.
If you’re facing steep medical bills due to an injury that someone else caused, turn to the Hodge & Langley Law Firm for guidance. With nearly 50 years of combined experience, our attorneys have the knowledge and resources to help you fight for the recovery you deserve. We have a track record of success in cases of varying complexity, including claims that involved latent-symptom injuries.
Attorney Ryan Langley holds an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell and a 10.0 Avvo rating. Call 864-585-3873 or use our Contact Page to schedule a free initial consultation. A member of our team will come to you if you cannot come to us.
*This blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should be used only as a starting point for addressing your legal issues. This is not the provision of legal services and accessing such information does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and our firm. It is not a substitute for an in-person or telephonic consultation with a lawyer licensed to practice in your jurisdiction about your specific legal issue, and you should not rely on this answer.