How Long After a Car Accident Can You Claim Injury?

Friday, March 18, 2022

How Long After a Car Accident Can You Claim Injury?

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

Right after a car crash, you have adrenaline pumping, and you might be in a slight state of shock over what just happened. You feel a little disoriented and sore, but you write it off as being “normal” feelings following a collision. However, as the next few days pass, you are not feeling any less confused, and you develop headaches and irritability. Your sore neck has worsened, and the pain is shooting into your shoulder. 

In this situation, can you get a delayed diagnosis of your car accident injuries and still seek compensation for your treatment? How long can you claim injuries after your crash?

Always see a doctor right away, and then contact an experienced car accident law attorney for advice regarding your specific situation. 

Some Injuries Develop Over Time

Not all injuries from car accidents have serious symptoms right away. Feeling “out of it” or stiff might be the extent of it, and you might go home assuming everything will clear up after a good night’s sleep. However, some injuries start with lesser symptoms and get worse over time if you do not get treatment. 

Examples of some injuries that might develop over time include:

  • Soft tissue injuries – Sprains, strains, and tears of your ligaments, tendons, or muscles might feel slightly sore at first, and they might even feel better the next day. Then, you might feel increasing pain, stiffness, and restricted motion in the coming days. 
  • Concussions – A brain injury can present symptoms that you might not identify right away. You might have disorientation, fatigue, trouble sleeping, and irritability, which you might think is all a normal reaction to a car accident disruption. Then, the symptoms not only don’t clear up, but they can worsen, and new symptoms, such as trouble processing information or memory problems, might arise. 

As soon as you realize something is wrong, you should seek a medical evaluation. You want to get a diagnosis as close to when the accident happened as possible. 

What Happens When You Have a Late Diagnosis?

There is no hard-and-fast rule for when it is too late to get an injury diagnosis and claim an injury. However, if you wait too long, the insurance company might make it difficult for you to recover compensation. For example:

  • You are in a car accident and do not get a medical evaluation.
  • A week later, you head to the doctor due to worsening pain, and you get diagnosed with a back injury. 
  • The insurance adjuster might try to claim that you hurt your back doing something else during that week, instead of the back injury stemming from the car crash. 

If you waited to get injuries diagnosed, you need a highly skilled attorney handling your claim. 

Discuss Your Options with Chicago Car Accident Lawyer

At Malman Law, we work with clients who suffered many types of injuries in crashes, and we can assess the best way to seek compensation in your case. Contact us for a free case evaluation, so we can discuss your situation and how we can help you.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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