How Long Has This Been Going On? Understanding Long-Term Injuries

When you are hit and hurt by a careless driver, you may immediately understand the depths of the injury. Some injuries can go almost unnoticed, though. You may be concerned that an injury caused by someone else's negligence or carelessness has shown up too late to be compensated for, but you might still have time. Read on to find out more about the legal concept known as the discovery of harm.

Why Taking Action Quickly Is So Important

All states use what is called a statute of limitations rule concerning personal injury claims. In most cases, accident victims have about two years to file a claim depending on the location of the accident. There are other good reasons for acting quickly when taking action, however:

  • Valuable evidence can be collected and preserved before it disappears.
  • Witnesses can be questioned before they forget details.
  • Victims can be compensated and gain much-needed financial relief before they lose property, ruin their credit, have court judgments passed on them or declare bankruptcy.

A Notable Statue of Limitations Exception

You can only take action and be paid for injuries that you know about, which is the idea behind the discovery of harm without exception. While all accident victims should seek medical help as soon as possible after an accident, there are times when the injury takes a bit of time to become obvious. Some injuries may seem minor at first and get worse over time. Some injuries may be hidden for a time. Some of those might include such serious injuries as brain damage, back injuries, muscle strains, and ligament tears.

The Statute is Tolled, Not Eliminated

It's important to note that the statute of limitations still applies to discovery of harm injuries. Once you know about the injury, the clock starts to tick. That means a medical diagnosis should be immediately forthcoming. If you began to suspect an injury but put off seeking medical care, you might not get compensated for your injury. Seek care right after an accident and whenever you notice any new or worsening symptoms. Doing so strengthens your personal injury case and keeps you from suffering needlessly. It can also prevent minor problems from getting worse.

Rather than just assuming that you've waited too long to seek compensation from an injury, speak to a personal injury lawyer about your issue. Many lawyers will consult with you free of charge, and you can avoid leaving thousands of dollars of compensation on the table. Speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as you know you are hurt from an accident.