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2 ways delayed-onset injuries can complicate crash claims

Many injuries caused by car crashes are obvious right away. Someone with a broken leg won’t be able to walk away from a wreck without severe pain, while a spinal cord injury might prevent someone from walking at all. Sometimes, people can easily tell when there is a need for emergency medical support right after a collision.

Other times, evaluation by a medical professional is necessary because of the delayed onset of noticeable injury symptoms. Many people walk away from a crash thinking they got lucky, only to later find themselves in debilitating pain or struggling with unexpected symptoms of a serious injury.

Although those with delayed-onset medical conditions should have access to the same insurance coverage as those with immediately obvious injuries, there are two factors that can complicate the claims made by those with delayed-onset medical conditions.

1. There can be questions about the origin of an injury

The longer it takes someone to seek out medical care for an injury, the more plausible it will be for an insurance company or an attorney to claim that the injury may have occurred after the crash. The bigger the delay in diagnosis, the more of a challenge it may become to bring a claim.

Even if they cannot convince the courts of a plausible secondary source of the injury, they could claim that the person hurt in the crash is partially responsible for their own symptoms because they delayed getting treatment, which may have affected their long-term prognosis.

2. Their costs may increase beyond the coverage available

With traumatic brain injuries or abdominal bleeding, the condition won’t just persist after the initial trauma. It will steadily worsen in many cases until someone secures appropriate medical treatment.

Unfortunately, those few days of delay might be the difference between car insurance coverage being sufficient to reimburse someone for all of their care expenses and their lost wages and falling far short of their total costs because the condition worsened.

For most people who have been involved in a significant car crash, timely medical evaluation is valuable, if only to help rule out the possibility of a worsening injury. Knowing the proper steps to take after a motor vehicle collision can help to protect those who have been harmed by the poor driving choices of others.


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