Car accidents can result in varying degrees of injury. However, there are instances where the true severity of injuries may not become obvious or apparent until weeks or even months later. Understanding the legal implications of delayed injury diagnoses is crucial in Illinois law. Today, we will discuss what happens if it takes you a while to realize just how serious your injuries are from your car accident, emphasizing the importance of seeking prompt medical attention and securing legal representation for your personal injury claim.
Do Not Wait to Get Medical Help
After you have been in a car crash, immediately seeking medical attention is very important. Even if you believe yourself injured, delayed symptoms can emerge in the days, weeks, and months following the accident. Injuries that may reveal delayed symptoms include whiplash and internal or traumatic brain injuries. Prompt medical attention ensures your well-being and provides important documentation of what exactly your injuries are, including how severe they are. This crucial documentation can come in handy later for future legal claims.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Illinois?
Illinois establishes time limits, known as “statutes of limitations,” within which a personal injury claim must be filed. The statute of limitations for someone injured in a car accident is two days from the accident date. However, suppose injuries are not discovered until months later. In that case, the time limit for bringing a personal injury claim may begin once the extent of the injuries is discovered.
When there is a delay in realizing the severity of car accident injuries, establishing a link between the accident and injuries becomes challenging. Proving your injuries were directly caused by the accident and other parties can be very difficult. This is why prompt medical attention after the accident is so important, as an immediate connection can then be made between the car crash and your injuries. Making this connection months after the fact adds a level of difficulty to an already tough situation.
Challenges from the Insurance Company
Insurance companies may raise doubts about the cause of your injuries when there is a delay in seeking treatment, arguing that your injuries are unrelated to your accident. For example, let us say that you were in a car accident and hurt your knee. You then decide to forgo medical treatment, as you do not think your knee injury is that serious. Fast forward two months, and you can barely walk because your knee hurts so badly. You then decide to pursue a personal injury claim for the injury and accident which happened months before. In this situation, the insurance company may challenge the premise that your injury is severe enough to seek compensation, as you delayed seeking treatment for two months. This is why seeking medical treatment is important as soon as possible after the accident.