Brian White | January 17, 2023 | Car Accidents
You should see a doctor immediately after an injury car accident in Houston. Some injuries, such as whiplash and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), can take hours, days, or even weeks to manifest symptoms. Prompt medical treatment can catch these conditions before symptoms appear.
Additionally, your healthcare provider will generate documentation that can serve as persuasive evidence in support of your claim.
The Statute of Limitations Deadline
In Texas, you usually have until two years after the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If your injury occurred on March 7, 2023, your last day to sue will probably be March 6, 2025. If you miss the deadline, the judge will dismiss your claim, and you will never be able to refile it.
The statute of limitations deadline applies even to settlement negotiations. Your only leverage in settlement negotiations is your ability to file a lawsuit. If you lose this leverage by missing the statute of limitations deadline, your bargaining power will drop to zero. The defendant or the insurance company will immediately cut off negotiations with you.
Waiting until the statute of limitations deadline is looming to seek medical treatment is an extremely bad idea.
How an Insurance Company Might Use Your Failure to Seek Medical Treatment Against You
Insurance companies may use any delay in seeking medical treatment as a way to downplay the severity of your injuries. Below is a description of a few of the ways that an insurance company might use treatment delays to its advantage:
- Questioning causation. Insurance companies may argue that because a delay occurred between the accident and the time you sought medical treatment, the accident might not have caused your injuries. In other words, they may argue that your injuries were pre-existing or that they occurred after your accident.
- Downplaying the severity of your injuries. The insurance company might argue that if your injuries were serious, you would have sought medical attention immediately after the accident.
- Claiming your delay prejudiced their ability to examine your claim. The insurance company might argue that your delay in seeking medical treatment prejudiced their ability to fully investigate the accident and your injuries. By doing this, they may try to limit the information and evidence that you can use against them.
- Questioning your credibility: The insurance company may also argue that your delay in seeking treatment raises questions about your credibility. They might also question the authenticity of your injuries.
- Accusing you of failure to mitigate your damages. The insurance company might argue that your injuries worsened because you delayed seeking medical treatment. They would then argue that you are not entitled to compensation for any increment by which your injuries worsened due to your delay in seeking treatment. The reasoning behind this is that the insurance company should not have to compensate people for self-inflicted injuries.
It’s important to note that these arguments, even if they are successful, do not necessarily mean that you will not be able to receive compensation if you delay medical treatment. However, they can make it more difficult for you to prove the severity of the injuries, and they can make the claim process more difficult.
It’s always best to see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident to ensure that any injuries are properly diagnosed and treated. It’s also helpful toward obtaining proper documentation that you can use as evidence in any potential legal case.
Work With a Lawyer for Best Results
The earlier you involve a lawyer after your car accident claim arises, the better your chances will be. The question is not only whether you win or lose but, if you win, how much you will win. A seasoned personal injury lawyer can maximize your chances of winning big.
In case you were wondering, you don’t need a dime in your pocket to hire a personal injury lawyer. Your legal fees will come out of your winnings or settlement – otherwise, you won’t pay them.
Contact the Houston Car Accident Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – East Fwy
11811 East Fwy, Suite 630-06
Houston, TX 77029
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – South Loop
2600 S Loop W, Suite 293
Houston, TX 77054