I never went to the doctor following my truck accident because I thought the pain in my neck and shoulders would just go away. It’s been six months. Is it too late to go to a doctor now? Will I still be compensated for the pain I’ve endured?

Pain Suffering Calculation No Doctor Injury Law

I never went to the doctor following my truck accident because I thought the pain in my neck and shoulders would just go away. It’s been six months. Is it too late to go to a doctor now? Will I still be compensated for the pain I’ve endured?

It is possible that you may not be compensated because you waited so long, but you should absolutely go to a doctor! Obviously there is something wrong if it still hurts after six months. In general, the longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes to prove your claim. If the accident you had was very minor, with little damage to the truck, and no visit to the doctor, it will be very difficult to prove that your pain now is from then; difficult, but not impossible. If it was more than a minor accident, in other words if the damage to the vehicle(s) was substantial, it will be a bit easier to prove that you were injured. If a police report was filed with regard to the accident, and you told the officer that your neck and shoulders were hurting at the time, you could point to that as proof that there was an injury from the crash. You may have “self-treated” with ice, heat, over the counter anti-inflammatory medications, etc., and you can testify as such at your deposition (questioning under oath) and hope they believe you.

Honestly, though, to be injured and self-treat and not see a doctor for six months does make it a tough sell. You will need a very good attorney who will document everything you did to care for yourself. You will need a good and convincing explanation as to why you didn’t go see a health care provider sooner. Perhaps you have no medical insurance, or couldn’t take time off from your job, or you had a bad experience with doctors as a kid. You will also need a complete report from the physician you see now, that points to the accident as the culprit for your pain for the last six months.

If you have had back pain before this somewhere in your medical history, you can be sure the opposing party will be very interested in knowing about that. They will likely subpoena (legally demand) your medical records to look for that possibility. They will want to claim that the pain you have now is just a recurrence of past problems with your back, and has nothing to do with the accident. It is up to you and your attorney to convince them (or a jury) otherwise.

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