What if My Injuries Don’t Appear Until Days or Weeks After the Accident in Virginia?

It is always best to get a thorough medical examination right after an accident, even if you do not feel pain and experience injury symptoms. Often, a doctor can detect signs of injury that are not obvious, even though they may be quite serious.

Sometimes, however, injuries are not apparent even to doctors. Some symptoms take days or even weeks to appear. What happens then? Can you still seek compensation for your losses? Does it limit your ability to obtain damages?

If you are in this situation, it is wise to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for advice and assistance. You’ll need to work quickly to not only obtain the right care to provide for your physical recovery but also evidence to support your financial recovery. A caring, knowledgeable, and dedicated injury attorney can assist with both.

Document Your Injury as Soon as Possible

It is important to take steps to diagnose and obtain medical treatment for your injury as soon as possible after you notice symptoms. Go to the doctor, explain everything that has happened, and keep copies of all paperwork associated with the visit. If the doctor does not seem to take the issues seriously, get a second opinion. Be sure to follow all instructions and return for follow-up care as ordered.

While the doctor’s records will serve as solid medical evidence, you can also develop your own records. Write down your observations about your symptoms and how they are affecting your ability to perform tasks. If you realize that the symptoms are related to other issues and you just now connected them with the accident, write that down as well. The notes you take in the early days can be more valuable as evidence than your recollections much later.

Don’t Wait Until the Statute of Limitations Approaches to Take Action

In Virginia, accident victims generally have two years from the time of the accident to file a claim for damages. The limit often extends to three years if the accident occurred in Washington, D.C. or Maryland. With that seemingly long time to act, many people put off consideration of legal steps, but this is a big mistake.

To give yourself the best opportunity to collect the compensation you need and deserve, you need to start working to build your case right away. That includes watching what you say to others, including insurance company representatives. It also includes gathering evidence regarding the cause of the accident and the extent and effect of your injuries. Legal advice can help prevent you from saying or doing something that could be used to deny liability and prevent your recovery.

The longer you wait to collect evidence about the accident causation, the harder it will be to locate evidence, and the less reliable that evidence will be. Most importantly, the longer you delay in seeking evidence of and treatment for your injuries, the easier it is for the insurance company to claim that your injuries were caused by something you did after the accident.

An Experienced Attorney Knows That Some Injuries are Not Immediately Apparent

It will be important to show that your injuries were not apparent right after the accident but they are nevertheless the result of the accident. You need to work with an attorney who understands how to prove this causal connection.

Some injuries that can take days or weeks to show symptoms include:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Whiplash
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Compression fractures in the spine

In addition, some minor injuries can lead to infection that can cause devastating consequences such as organ failure. It is an unfortunate fact that some of the most severe brain and spinal injuries often are not recognized until considerable time after an accident. These injuries can lead to lifelong impairment, even though they were not noticeable right after the accident.

Psychological Damage Also Takes Time to Manifest

Car accident victims often suffer post traumatic stress disorder, particularly in conjunction with a brain injury. It often takes weeks or longer to recognize that behavioral or emotional changes are more than a passing phase. The psychological damage may worsen over time and impair the victim’s ability to work and enjoy a high quality of life.

Contact Jennifer Porter Law, PLLC Today if You’ve Just Noticed Injuries from an Accident

While it can be considerably more difficult to obtain full and fair compensation for injuries from an accident if you did not document those injuries right after the accident, an experienced attorney can help you gain fair damages. Once you notice the injuries, it is important not to delay in getting advice and assistance.

At Jennifer Porter Law, PLLC, we have extensive experience helping accident victims recover in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. We understand how insurance companies operate and know the strategies to succeed in all situations. Get started today with a free consultation and case evaluation.