What If Your Injuries Present Themselves Long After an Accident?
No matter how traumatic your accident may be, you may not be aware of your injuries until later. This is particularly true if you go into shock after a scary and jarring event, such as a car accident. Adrenaline sometimes masks our pain until we can get to a place of safety, so you may not notice bumps, bruises, or strains until days later. Some can even take weeks to manifest, which can be a serious problem if you’ve already filed an insurance claim for smaller damages.
The best thing to do after an accident is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A full medical evaluation after a traumatic event can help a doctor determine whether or not any damage was done that is undetectable to you without medical equipment. Internal bleeding, for example, may not be outwardly apparent but could be detected in a CT scan. Not only can such an examination help catch potentially dangerous injuries, but it can also help your personal injury case. Without a medical examination following the accident, the at-fault party’s insurance company will question the veracity of your injury and could reduce your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
In some cases, however, your injuries may not present for years, such as damage obtained from an accident on a cellular level. Many industrial workers experience prolonged exposure to a chemical that can cause severe damage over time. Even a brief exposure to something like asbestos could cause mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer that can present in the lungs, heart, abdomen, or testicles.
Those cases concern people because in a typical case they would be far past the statute of limitations on personal injury claims; however, many states make an exception for the rule of discovery. The Discovery Rule in tort law specifies the statute of limitations doesn’t begin to run until the time the injured party discovers or reasonably should have discovered the injury.
If you’re worried about a late-presenting injury, don’t hesitate to discuss your case with our experienced San Jose personal injury attorneys. We have more than 175 years of combined legal experience to put to work in your case, so we can offer you skilled and compassionate advice regarding your best course of action.
Contact us at (888) 387-4053 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation with us today.