The short and easy answer is: after the appropriate statute of limitations has run (e.g., 4 years for a cause of action for negligence in Utah). The more thoughtful answer, of course, requires a further analysis. As is usually the case with negligence in personal injury cases, general damages (“pain and suffering”) are often dependent upon injuries that can be objectively diagnosed. If one is injured in an accident and does not timely visit with a medical provider to obtain such a diagnosis and plan for treatment, the issue of general damages can increasingly become a debatable topic. It is not uncommon, unfortunately, for the trier of fact (a jury, arbitrator, mediator, or even a judge in some forums) to find it difficult to connect purported injuries with an underlying accident unless there are objective findings documenting injuries during the acute stages (can be the first couple of weeks following the accident). So, if you want to get better, it is wise to see a doctor very soon following an accident and get the treatment you need. This is not only a good idea for your health, but is also a good idea to establish merit to your case. As time passes with treatment, so does the viability of your claim(s).