treatment for injury

What Happens if I Wait to Go to The Doctor After an Accident?

Getting in a car accident can be one of the most stressful and life-changing things that can happen to us. If you have been in a car accident and aren’t yet working with a California personal injury attorney, you may start wondering how long you have to get to a doctor to have your injuries documented after the accident. This concern is more common than you may think, and it is far more important than you may realize.

How Soon Should I Get to the Doctor After an Accident?

The ideal time frame for medical attention is within 72 hours of the accident. The adrenaline from the accident will likely block out the majority of your pain sensation for several hours after the event, but the next day will be a different story. Even if there were only minor injuries, the day following an accident can be very sore and painful.

What Happens if I Wait Too Long to See a Doctor After an Accident?

There are several important things that can happen if you wait too long after an accident to see a doctor. You could make your injuries worse, and you may even reduce your chances of a successful recovery. 

First, you are putting your health at risk. Even low-speed parking lot bumps can create lasting injuries that cause pain and reduced physical capacity, long after the accident. Without having these latent injuries identified and documented, you may face devastating complications. The most common latent injuries often include:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Reduction in balance
  • Tinnitus

Additionally, the longer you wait to get medical attention, the weaker your case looks to the insurance adjuster. Their point of view is that if it took you a month to finally see the doctor about your sore back or persistent headache, then the injury must not have been that serious, and therefore not worth as much in damages. In some cases, a significant delay in treatment can even cause the insurer to try to deny the claim entirely.

What Time Limits Are Involved for Personal Injury Cases in California?

California sets the statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims differently for different situations. If the injury was not discovered right away, you can file a claim up to two years from the date of the accident that caused the injury. If the injury was discovered right away, the victim only has one year from the date of the accident to file a claim for compensation.

Being Injured in a Car Accident

If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident and didn’t seek treatment for some time, there may still be a chance to recover compensation for those damages. There are time limitations involved, so the most significant first step is reaching out to a local personal injury attorney for a confidential case evaluation. Contact our office today for a free consultation.