Car accident injuries that manifest hours, days, or even weeks after the incident are also called delayed injuries.
When an accident occurs, the body generates neurochemicals known as endorphins, as well as the adrenaline hormone. The two substances give your body a different kind of high that masks pain and other kinds of discomfort.
Understanding the common injuries that might fail to show immediately after the accident will help you stay on the lookout for any red flags.
Common Injuries that Delay to Appear After a Car Accident
Injuries sustained from car accidents depend on its impact, speed of cars involved, what type of collision it is, among others. Common delayed injuries include the following:
Soft Tissue Injuries
Sudden jerks caused by a car collision can tear soft tissues such as tendons and ligaments, causing grievous injuries. Symptoms include discolored skin, pain while moving or lifting, and swollenness.
Brain injuries with symptoms such as confusion, headaches, memory loss, slowed response time, and mood swings may not occur immediately.
When severe internal bleeding occurs, a clot may gradually form, especially in your legs as deep vein thrombosis. This clot can become fatal when it travels to the heart or brain.
A neck injury that happens when the neck muscles and joints jolt due to the accident’s impact. Signs include blurred vision, dizziness, headaches, neck, and shoulder pain.
Post-trauma Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Psychological trauma from a car accident can manifest within days or many years later. Symptoms occur when a victim is triggered by related events or objects.
Planning Ahead: Protecting Your Rights if an Injury Appears Later
Delayed injuries are common after car crashes. How can you protect your right to claim while anticipating future injuries?
- Do not sign a legal release just yet. This document forfeits your rights to make any further claim. If other injuries appear after you have signed the form, the negligent party is not liable for compensation.
- Do not accept any settlements without the advice of a personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies will try and get you to settle immediately after the accident. Making any agreements without an attorney present will have you settling for an amount that does not cover delayed injuries.
- Seek medical attention immediately after the accident.
Why Is It Important to Seek Medical Care After an Accident?
You have probably heard from multiple sources that it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately after an accident. Most drivers will overlook this step, especially if they were rushing somewhere and do not feel any physical pain.
When this happens, the defendant’s insurer may argue that your injuries were not serious enough to warrant compensation.
Having a medical evaluation is the only way to know whether you are likely to experience delayed injuries, and how long until you attain Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). The doctor will also determine possible future medical costs you might need, and advise you on symptoms that indicate a delayed injury. All this information will also be essential while quantifying your total compensatory damages.
My Injuries Appeared Later. Can I Still Get Compensation?
The short answer is yes. You are still eligible for compensation for injuries that appear multiple days later after the accident. Unfortunately, this will not be as straightforward as many victims hope.
Your personal injury attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that the injuries were caused by the accident. This may require the input of an expert witness to ascertain some medical facts. If you have not signed a legal release, the insurance company is required to include these injuries in the claim as well.
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