William J. Carlson Inc., P.S.
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suffered Bodily or Economic Injury
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2135 112th Avenue NE, Suite 220, Bellevue, WA 98004
Tel: (425) 451-8333 | Fax: (425) 451- 2661
What Happens If I Feel Pain Days Or Weeks After An Accident?
There is no doubt that waiting a lengthy period of time can be problematic for your case. It’s critical that when you do get treatment, you give your doctor a complete and accurate medical history. If there is a plausible medical reason to relate your symptoms to the car collision, then you have a case. Even though you delayed seeking medical treatment, there may be a legitimate reason for that delay. For instance, a lingering headache may turn out to actually be symptomatic of a concussion. That would explain the delay in treatment; you believed the headache would get better, but it never did. Another example might be a lingering, painful low back which turns out to actually be a damaged lumbar disc.
These are the types of medical issues that can be explained by your doctor so long as you give that doctor an accurate, honest medical history. It can also be helpful to your case if there is no pre-existing and similar injuries such as the pre-existing arthritic condition and so forth. There is a general rule though that early treatment is always better than delayed treatment.
Why Is It Important To Follow Doctor’s Recommendations For My Auto Injury Claim?
First and foremost, in following your doctor’s recommended treatment you have the best chance of making a full recovery. From a legal standpoint, always keep in mind that insurance companies or their lawyers will want access to medical records before agreeing to a settlement. This is because they are looking for reasons to deny or litigate your treatment. The name of the game with insurance adjusters is to minimize the value of the claim. The argument will be made that by delaying treatment or missing appointments, you really couldn’t have been that badly hurt. The adjuster will argue that if you were really hurt you would have treated. That logic has a certain resonance with juries. Missing doctor’s appointments can sometimes affect relationships with your doctor. Doctors are humans too. Their time has value, so you have to be respectful of that issue.
If your healthcare providers see that you don’t particularly care about your injury situation, why should they? Gaps in care are always problematic. To an insurance company, gaps in care are suspicious. Did you stop treatment because you healed? Did you return to treatment because you suffered another similar injury? Another car accident perhaps? Are you going back to the doctor to simply try and build up your claim? On the other hand, is there a legitimate medical reason for you to return to treatment?
What Factors May Cause My Auto Accident Case To Go Into Litigation?
There are any number of reasons explaining why some cases go into formal litigation. It’s important to note that the fact of filing a lawsuit does not mean that there will be a trial. In fact, in the vast majority of cases, whether a lawsuit has been filed or not, settlement before trial occurs. Some cases that are more likely to end up in litigation are cases of contested liability. A classic example might be a 2-car intersection collision. Both drivers swear they had the green light. Who do you believe? If no one compromises, a jury may need to sort things out. Some cases involve unreasonable expectations. Consider the situation of a client who absolutely believes their case is worth far more money than is reasonable under the circumstances. Those people may need a jury to bring them back to reality. Remember the old adage, “pigs get fat but hogs get slaughtered.”
It’s important to educate clients as to reasonable expectations. Cases with disputed damages sometimes end up in the courthouse as well. Some medical conditions may be in controversy. For example, was a particular injury actually caused in a collision or did it predate this person’s situation? Sometimes pre-existing injuries or medical conditions play a part in a person’s ability to heal. That may be a litigation-causing factor as well. But the long and short of all of these things is that most cases do find a way to settle.
How Long Do Auto Accident Claims Typically Take To Be Resolved?
In Washington, the statistics show us that 95% of all PI or personal injury cases are resolved short of trial, and that number is shrinking. In our office, any serious bodily injury claim involving a significant amount of medical treatment likely will take at least one and one-half (1 ½) to two (2) years to resolve. This is from the date of the incident. There are a few reasons for this but the primary reason is that serious negotiations don’t begin until the client’s medical condition becomes fixed and stable. It is at that point that both sides can evaluate the medical information, have that information reviewed by their own medical experts, and hopefully arrive at a reasonable resolution of the claim.
For more information on Delayed Symptoms Of Pain After An Accident, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (425) 451-8333 today.