Is a lawsuit still tenable if your injury was not treated soon after the accident?
Jared: Hi. I’m Jared Richards of Clear Counsel Law Group. One of our readers has asked, “Is it possible to make a claim for injuries that were not evaluated after the injury?” The answer is, yes, it’s possible. The general principle you look at is one, did the accident cause your injury? How can we prove that? If the accident caused the injury, then the accident caused the injury, that’s fine.
Then, we go to how do we prove it? That’s where it becomes a little more difficult. Unfortunately, the truth is if you get hurt and you stay at home and you suffer, it is more difficult for your attorney to prove that you were hurt. That’s why it’s always beneficial to go to a doctor immediately and get evaluated. Part of it because that’s just what injured people do and part of it is an evidentiary issue. You need to preserve the evidence.
If however, you realize that six months after the accident, a year after the accident you are getting new symptoms that really can only be attributed to the accident or if you suffered in silence for a long time. The answer is, yes you can make a claim. It may be more difficult to get a jury or an insurance adjuster to believe that that injury is related to the accident.
This is where, if you do this one, most attorneys are going to want this to be a fairly serious injury. Just because of the difficulty of proving it. Two, you need to make sure that you are working with your doctors and that you are communicating with your doctors about what you think the cause is, so that your doctors could make an intelligent decision as to what they think the cause is, because ultimately you are going to be relying on your doctors.
The other thing that you are going to want to make sure that you do is if you’ve been suffering in silence, meaning that you haven’t sought medical treatment. Make sure that if you told any friends, family, colleagues, employers about your injury, your pain. Make sure that you make a list of those, so your attorney can talk to those people, because sometimes those could actually prove that you were hurt, but you just didn’t seek treatment. It looks like Brian has a question.
Brian: Was there any value in documenting your injury in like a diary that’s dated over time?
Jared: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. Again, part of what you need to do is when we go to a jury we need to prove to the jury that you were hurt. Although, it could seem somewhat self serving. It does help document on such and such day, you had troubles taking a shower by yourself. You use to go jogging, but ever since this date you weren’t able to jog, because of the pain. It’s actually a really good to document specifically what we’d call activities of daily living or duties under duress. Just things that you have to do, that you can’t do anymore or you can’t do very well. A journal is a very good way to document that.