Rhoades & Morrow

Just another PLM WordPress site



Wilmington 302-427-9500 Bear 302-834-8484 Milford 302-422-6705 Lewes 302-550-0155

Will a Delayed Diagnosis Impact My Car Accident Case?

delayed diagnosis

Victims who have been hurt in car accidents regularly try to recover compensation from insurance carriers and at-fault parties. However, if a victim does not seek immediate medical attention after the incident, they may wind up making their case difficult to prove. For this reason, most legal professionals suggest that car accident victims at least visit their primary care physicians for check-ups as soon as they can, even if they do not think they have suffered injuries. It is best to avoid a delayed diagnosis. Yet, many people insist on waiting to call up doctors.

Why Do People Wait to Seek Treatment?

Not everyone who has experienced a car accident feels physical pain or notices a difference in mental health right away. Often, the shock of the accident masks pain. Even victims with serious injuries may try to walk away from the scene without allowing emergency personnel to treat them.

Even people who know they are not feeling well after a collision may want to get away from the area rather than be examined by medical personnel; therefore, they may opt out of help from medics. Although the desire to get back to normal and perhaps pretend the accident never happened is understandable, it can lead to a delayed diagnosis.

A final reason that people sometimes wait to get help is that they do not feel hurt. Nevertheless, even a slow speed accident can lead to long-term issues, including neck injuries and broken bones.

Why Do Insurance Carriers Prefer to See Immediate Treatment After Crashes?

The longer the period between the crash and a physician’s diagnosis, the greater the likelihood that an insurance provider will deny a claim or that a court may be wary to award damages in a personal injury lawsuit. It is tough to prove causality when an event happens weeks before a clinical diagnosis is made.

A defense team on the side of the insured at-fault party may argue that the injury happened sometime between the accident and the time the injury was diagnosed. They might be upheld by a court because their defense could seem reasonable.

Some accident injuries are known to show up after crashes. In other words, those injuries might be missed by medical personnel, even if the person received treatment right after the crash. Personal injury attorneys often use that fact to help their clients establish a link between their medical issues and the collision.

What are Common Car Accident Injuries That Do Not Show Up Immediately?

Sometimes, it can take several days or longer for an injury to show up after a car crash. Neck, shoulder, and back pain are among the more frequently seen complaints among those who have been in car accidents. For instance, whiplash may not present symptoms for a few days, even if the neck has been seriously injured. Whiplash is especially commonplace in crashes where the victim has been rear-ended, sending the head jolting forward without warning.

Sudden chronic headaches can also appear many days after a car crash. Since headaches are not unusual occurrences, a doctor may need to conduct tests to see if the headaches are related to damage suffered during the accident. Similarly, traumatic brain injuries, such as milder forms of concussion, can take a few days to appear.

Other types of late-presenting car collision injuries can be emotional or psychological, such as personality and mood changes due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or another psychological response to the traumatic event. It is essential that a physician show the connection between the accident and the injury.

What Symptoms Should Accident Victims Take Seriously?

After being in a car crash, victims ideally should monitor their physical and mental well-being for a few weeks. Any potential symptoms of hidden injuries should be noted, tracked, and examined by a professional.

Side effects related to delayed car accident injuries could include the following:

  • Sudden migraines
  • Inability to fall or stay asleep
  • Panic attacks
  • Swelling or pain anywhere on the body
  • Stabbing pains in the abdomen
  • Memory problems
  • Inability to return to the crash site
  • Inability to return to normal functioning

Even the smallest possible symptoms need to be monitored because they could be indicators of a much bigger problem. Usually, a doctor will order tests, which could include blood work, X-rays, or an MRI. Though these types of tests can be expensive if they are not 100 percent covered by the victim’s medical insurance, they present critical steps to reveal injuries..

How Can Victims with Late-Presenting Symptoms Recover Damages?

If a victim does not get treatment at the accident scene or soon after, the victim can still get help at the earliest sign of a potential injury. The key is to avoid unnecessary delays whenever possible, as delays can lead to a denied claim. Delays can also pose health risks, such as if the victim requires surgery, physical therapy, or emotional counseling to mitigate the damages caused by the injury.

What if My Claim is Rejected?

Hearing that an insurance claim has been rejected by the at-fault driver’s insurance team can make a victim feel like there is no recourse. However, this does not mean an injured car crash victim should stop trying to recover compensation or damages.

Consulting a personal injury lawyer is important, particularly in the case of a significant injury that took time to present itself. Many car accident victims with delayed diagnoses eventually get their claims accepted after hiring a legal team to help fight for their rights.

Delaware Personal Injury Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Counsel Crash Victims with Delayed-Onset Injury Symptoms

Car accidents often cause hidden injuries. If you were in a car accident, contact one of our Delaware personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow right away. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 302-427-9500. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Hillsborough, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.

Top Lawyer Delaware