top of page

What Happens To My Case If The Injury Takes A Long Time To Manifest?


There is no doubt that waiting a lengthy period of time can be problematic to your case. It’s critical that when you do get treatment you give your doctor a complete and accurate medical history. If there is no plausible medical reason to relate your symptoms to the car collision, you don’t have a case. Even though you’ve delayed seeking medical treatment, there may be a legitimate reason for that delay. For instance, a lingering headache may turn out to be symptomatic of a concussion. That would explain a delay in treatment; you thought the headache would get better. Another example might be a lingering sore lower back which turns out to actually be a damaged lumbar disc a far more serious medical condition. Perhaps you believed it would heal with rest, so you didn’t go in right away.


These are the type of medical issues that can be explained by the doctor so long as you give that doctor an accurate, honest medical history. It can also be helpful to your case if you have no pre-existing and similar injuries such as a pre-existing arthritic condition As a general rule however, early treatment is always better than delayed treatment.


Why Is It Important To Follow Doctor’s Orders And Recommendations In An Auto Injury Claim?


First and foremost, by following your doctor’s recommended treatment you give yourself 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 your records before agreeing to a settlement. This is because they are looking for reasons to deny or litigate your treatment. The main goal of insurance adjusters is to minimize the value of your claim. The argument will be made that by delaying treatments of missing appointments you really couldn’t have been that badly hurt. If you were, you would have treated. That has a certain resonance with juries as well as claims adjusters. Also consider that missing doctor’s appointments can affect your relationship with your doctor. Doctors are humans too.


If they 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 always suspicious. Did you stop treatment because you were healed? Did you resume treatment because you suffered another similar injury? Another car accident perhaps? Are you going back to the doctor simply to try and build up your claim? On the other hand, is there a legitimate medical reason for you to turn to treatment?


What Factors May Cause My Case To Go Into Litigation?


There are any number of reasons why some cases go into formal litigation. It’s important to note that the act of filing a lawsuit doesn’t always mean there will be a trial. In fact, in the vast majority of cases, whether there has been a lawsuit filed or not, are settled before trial. Some cases that are more likely to end up in litigation are those cases involving contested liability. A classic example would be a car intersection collision. Both drivers swear they had the green light. Who would 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. Sometimes that may mean it’s wrong. Cases of 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 the 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. The long and short of all of these examples is that most cases do find a way to eventually 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 before trial and that number is shrinking. Still, in our office, experience shows that any serious bodily injury claim involving a significant quantity of medical treatment likely will take at least a 1 ½ to 2 years following the date of the injury to resolve. 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 it reviewed by their own medical experts and arrive at a reasonable resolution.


For more information on Delayed Manifestation Of Injury, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (425) 451-8333 today.



© 2018 by William J. Carlson, Inc., P.S. All rights reserved.

bottom of page