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Can I Sue for Damages if I Did Not Seek Medical Help After an Auto Accident?

Your natural response to a car crash that appears to have left you uninjured is relief. You tell yourself that it could have been so much worse. You decide that you don’t need medical attention and you don’t go to the emergency department or make a doctor’s appointment. After all, you only suffered a few bruises and those will likely heal by themselves.

However, not seeking medical attention immediately after an auto accident could impact your ability to recover damages for injuries that later become apparent. An insurance company could argue that your alleged injuries had no relationship to the accident. And lack of proof of causality might also make it difficult to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. For those reasons, it is vital that you undergo a medical examination after an accident if there is any possibility that you suffered a bodily injury.

Even if you did not seek medical treatment immediately after the crash, but later developed symptoms that sent you to a chiropractor, doctor, or hospital, you may be able to file a lawsuit if your pain and other symptoms can be linked to the car accident. People who have delayed symptoms after a car crash often seek medical care for:

  • Shoulder and neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Back pain
  • Numbness and tingling in the extremities or elsewhere
  • Abdominal and stomach pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • PTSD

Some of these symptoms, such as blurred vision or headache, could indicate that you sustained a concussion in the accident. Abdominal pain could mean that you suffered more than severe bruising. Shoulder and neck pain could be the result of whiplash that damaged your joints, discs, ligaments, or nerves. The diagnostic and treatment records can become part of the evidence supporting your injury claim.

The fact that diagnosis of injuries may take considerable time also means you should not agree to settle right away with the other party’s insurance company or attorney. Doing so requires signing a release, which forfeits your right to seek additional damages or other legal remedies. It is critical to undergo medical evaluation and to consult a North Carolina car accident lawyer before agreeing to any settlement.

If you delayed getting medical treatment after a vehicle crash and are now experiencing accident-related pain or other symptoms, contact a knowledgeable North Carolina auto accident attorney. Call The Carolina Law Group at 252-672-2059 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a lawyer at our New Bern, Havelock or Morehead City office.

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