Impact injuries—like those sustained in motor-vehicle collisions—aren’t always immediately apparent. Internal bleeding might not manifest any symptoms for days, for example, whereas brain damage may not be apparent for weeks.
As such, it’s not uncommon for car accident victims to put off seeking medical care. If you were recently involved in a wreck and you felt relatively fine in the aftermath, it was probably easy to justify not visiting a doctor. If you’ve since developed troublesome symptoms, though, you may be wondering how to proceed. While you might have grounds for a personal injury claim, recovering the compensation you deserve could prove to be an uphill battle.
Personal injury claimants have an obligation to mitigate damages. This includes seeking prompt medical care. That means your decision to forego an immediate evaluation could impact the outcome of your case; however, it doesn’t automatically bar you from holding the liable party financially accountable for at least some of the damages you have incurred. And often, a skilled attorney can help a client recover 100 percent of their damages even if medical care was delayed.
To give your claim the best chance of success, visit a doctor as soon as possible, and then take the following steps:
1. Follow All Medical Advice
Ignoring your doctor’s orders will only give the opposing party more reason to challenge your claim. If you’re instructed to stay home and rest, for example, do not go to work. Otherwise, you could be deemed liable for a portion of your losses. This, in turn, could reduce the total compensation to which you are entitled.
New York has a pure comparative fault rule, which reduces a plaintiff’s total damages by his or her own percentage of liability. Missing follow-up appointments, failing to fill prescriptions, and skipping physical therapy sessions are just a few ways plaintiffs can be found partially to blame for the severity of their injuries.
2. Track All Associated Damages
In New York, personal injury claimants are entitled to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic losses including:
- Property repairs,
- Alternative transportation,
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of earning capacity,
- Replacement services,
- Home and vehicle modifications,
- Mental anguish,
- Loss of enjoyment in life,
- Physical impairment and disfigurement, and
- Pain and suffering.
You can track your economic damages by saving all relevant bills, invoices, receipts, statements, and paystubs. As for tracking non-economic damages, start a personal injury journal, and write detailed entries about the ways in which your condition is affecting your everyday life.
3. Call a Personal Injury Attorney
A seasoned lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation and help you gather the evidence needed to prove liability and damages. Your legal team will also handle all correspondence with the insurance adjuster. This will prevent the opposing party from manipulating you into providing a recorded statement that harms your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a New York Car Accident Lawyer
If you were hurt in a motor-vehicle collision through no fault of your own, our attorneys can handle the logistics of your case so you can focus on your health. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a car accident attorney in New York.