So, the traffic home was heavy and, looking around at the rows of cars you take in a big sigh. You’re moving forward slowly, and when you turn your attention back to your lane, you see that it’s stopped completely. You ease to a stop, drumming our fingers on the steering wheel. The traffic is a little uncomfortable but at least you’ve got a good podcast on. Everything is fine. Except that when you look in your rearview mirror you see a blue Toyota cruising down your lane without a care in the world, and you realize that everything is not fine. They don’t know that you are at a complete stop. And, as if hearing your thoughts, the Toyota driver suddenly looks up, their eyes bulge, both hands go to the wheel, and their tires start screeching.
But it’s too late, and you know it. In a matter of seconds, they’ve already hit you. Thankfully, despite the noise, the bump is minor. You both take all the necessary steps to report the incident and you leave feeling a little shocked, but otherwise fine. When you get home, you take a night cap and relax after telling your spouse all about it. But, a week later you’re plagued with headaches, and an aching pain has slowly developed in- between your shoulder blades. Hoping it will go away you live with it for another week or so until, eventually the pain intensified and you decide to go to the doctors…
I’ll stop here. Because, no matter what the doctor says now—whether the injury is significant but treatable; whether the injury requires ongoing treatment for years; or whether it simply needs a good dose of physiotherapy and pain medication—it is very unlikely that the insurance company will cover you for it.
Why? You took too long. When you call the insurance company they’ll tell you that if the back pain was so significant then you would have already reported it. Or, better yet they’ll tell you that your back pain cannot possibly be related to the accident since you are only just seeking medical treatment for it now.
So, you’re left with pain, a potentially life long medical issue, and all the bills to show it. And if the pain or bills don’t keep you up at night, the knowledge that none of it was your fault will. All personal injury lawyers and doctors alike recommend going to the doctor after an accident and going again as soon as any pain presents itself. While hiring a personal injury lawyer is imperative even if you take all the right steps (because of the often turbulent and hard-to- navigate insurance processes when claiming for personal injury), it is priceless in the situation presented above as they may be the only way you are able to get the care, treatment, and compensation that you deserve.