If you were injured in a car accident in the Wilmington area, please feel free to contact the law offices of Knepper & Stratton for a free consultation. Our lawyers have extensive experience handling car accident cases in Delaware.
Why Medical Treatment is Important in a Delaware Car Accident Case – Proving an Injury was Caused by the Accident
One of the most important factors in success of a car accident case in Delaware is getting medical treatment for your injuries immediately after the accident occurs. Many people who get into car or truck accidents or get hit walking across the street, might not feel significant pain immediately after the accident. However, within the next few hours, after the shock of the accident wears off, pain symptoms increase. What a car accident victim does next and when, will become very important in a subsequent car accident lawsuit.
Failing to get prompt necessary medical treatment often results in difficulties proving that the car accident caused a specific injury. This is especially true in cases when there are relevant pre-existing medical conditions (i.e., prior injury to the same body part injured in the car accident at issue).
Defense attorneys, those hired by car insurance companies to represent at-fault drivers, will zero in on a gap of time in getting medical care after a car accident occurs. They often argue that the accident did not cause the injury. What is otherwise a valid car accident case is seriously weakened when days or even weeks have elapsed between the accident and the initial medical treatment.
What Happens When a Car Accident Victim Waits to Get Medical Treatment
Below are two examples which show how a lapse in medical treatment can weaken a car accident lawsuit in Delaware.
Example one: A construction worker gets into a car accident in Wilmington; the accident was the fault of another driver. The worker does not want to miss work after the accident and puts off getting medical care. Finally, two weeks later, the worker goes to his family doctor complaining of low back and neck pain. In this example, the individual’s car accident claim is not barred, but seriously weakened.
Here, the two week lapse in treatment coupled with the strenuous occupation, construction, certainly leaves room for a defense attorney to argue that the construction work, rather than the accident resulted in the back and neck pain. Doctors hired by defense attorneys often back up such arguments. It is commonly accepted that even everyday activities can cause disc pathology, particularly because as we age, spinal disc health decreases.
Example two: A pedestrian gets hit walking across a street in downtown Wilmington. He suffers a knee injury. He declines going to the ER and instead, plans on going to the ER later, on his own. He finally makes it into a medical clinic two days later. A year prior to the accident, the pedestrian suffered a knee injury.
Here, the two day wait gives the defense some room to argue that the car accident did not cause the injury. In a subsequent pedestrian accident lawsuit filed in the New Castle County (Wilmington) court system, the defense would argue that the symptoms are due to a flare up of the old, pre-existing condition, not by the accident.
Related DE car accident legal articles:
- Recovering Medical Bills in a Delaware Car or Truck Accident Case
- Pain and Suffering Damages in a Car/Truck Accident Case in Delaware
- Recovering Lost Wages After a Delaware Car/Truck Accident
Wilmington Car Accident Lawyer with Over 30 Years of Experience
Since 1982, firm founder, Martin Knepper, has served residents of the Wilmington, DE area in all personal injury matters, including car accidents and pedestrian accidents. Contact our accident lawyers today and ask for a free consultation. (302) 658.1717
Our lawyers serve residents throughout the Delaware area, including: Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Middletown, and Smyrna. We also represent residents of other states such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia who are injured in car or truck accidents while in Delaware. For more information, please contact us.
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