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Can You Receive Compensation for Delayed Injuries After an Accident?

Not all injuries are apparent immediately after an accident. In some cases, injuries have delayed or hidden symptoms. In other cases, victims are too quick to assume they are uninjured due to adrenaline masking pain. Regardless of the circumstances, if you have a delayed discovery of your injuries after an accident, you can still receive fair compensation with help from a Fort Collins personal injury lawyer.

Common Delayed Injuries

Although every case is unique, certain types of injuries are more likely to have hidden or delayed symptoms than others. These injuries include:

The possibility of a hidden injury is why it is critical to go to a hospital right away after any type of accident for a medical examination and diagnostic testing.

What Is the Statute of Limitations?

Victims with delayed injuries can still be eligible for financial compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages in Colorado as long as they file claims within the state’s statute of limitations. This is a law that places a strict time limit on the right to file a claim.

Colorado’s personal injury statute of limitations (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-80-102) states that cases must be commenced within two years after the cause of action accrues. In general, the clock starts ticking on the date of the accident. However, there is an exception in cases of delayed discovery.

Discovery Rule

The courts recognize the possibility of delayed injuries that manifest hours, days or even weeks after an accident. For this reason, lawmakers enacted the discovery rule, which allows a statute of limitations to be tolled, or paused, in the event of the delayed discovery of an injury.

In Colorado, the discovery rule allows for the typical two-year statute of limitations to be paused until the date that the injury is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered by the victim rather than the date that the injury actually occurred.

How to Prove a Delayed Injury

Even if you are within your rights to seek financial compensation for a delayed injury, an insurance company may try to refute liability for your losses. Protect yourself by politely declining to talk about your injuries with an insurer immediately after an accident. At the scene of the accident, do not tell the police that you are uninjured until you have seen a doctor.

Go to a doctor right away for a checkup and explain what happened. Your doctor will know what types of injuries to search for, such as a hidden brain bleed that may otherwise not become noticeable until hours later, when it has worsened to the point of potentially causing serious harm. Request copies of your medical records and documents.

When you file an insurance claim, submit copies of your medical records as proof of your injuries. Even if you did not discover them right away, if you are within the statute of limitations, you will most likely be eligible for financial compensation. If you struggle to recover fair compensation from an insurance company for a delayed injury, contact an attorney for legal assistance.