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Car accidents, no matter how mild, can cause painful injuries. Unfortunately, these injuries may take time to appear. When you feel “fine” after an accident, you might consider skipping the doctor’s office. However, your mild soreness or dizziness may be the early signs of a life-altering condition.
Insurance companies tend to deny claims involving late-developing injuries, and you’ll need an experienced lawyer by your side. Keep reading to learn about your legal options and how you can protect yourself after a crash.
Car accidents, even seemingly minor ones, can do a lot of harm to your body. During an accident, your body is subjected to a lot of trauma. For instance, suppose you’re suddenly rear-ended by another vehicle. During the collision, the force of the impact transfers through your car and slams you into whatever will stop your forward motion: the seatbelt, steering wheel, dashboard, or the windshield. Sometimes, these forces cause serious injuries, such as rotator cuff tears, traumatic brain injuries, and herniated discs.
after an accident, adrenaline, also called epinephrine, floods the brain, allowing you to respond quickly and make decisions. These hormones also mask feelings of pain and discomfort. When you’re under a tremendous amount of stress, the pain of the injury will be reduced, which is one reason you may not notice your injuries right away.
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Not every car accident injury is obvious after a crash. Some injuries, especially those involving soft tissues and the brain, take time to develop. Soft tissues include your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. While the crash may have torn or stretched your soft tissues, it could take days or even weeks for the pain to appear.
For example, suppose you were side-swiped by another driver. During the wreck, your car spun around and hit a pole. While your neck might feel a little sore immediately after the crash, your pain began to grow as swelling and inflammation developed. You may even have herniated, or ruptured, a disc in your neck, but you may not notice it until the disc starts pressing on nearby nerves several days later.
Injuries like scrapes, cuts, and major broken bones are usually identified at the scene of the accident. Other signs you’ve been injured may include persistent pain or soreness, especially to your joints, neck, or other soft tissue. Common injuries that are easily missed after an accident typically involve:
These may include whiplash, sprains or strains, and bruising. If you have increasing pain in your back, neck, shoulders, knees, or other joints, you should immediately consult with a doctor.
Serious back symptoms, such as shooting pain, difficulty walking, and muscle weakness sometimes take time to develop. Typically, your doctor will order imaging studies like x-rays and MRIs to assess your injuries.
You may not notice a concussion or another traumatic brain injury right away. See a doctor if you experience headaches, blurred vision, nausea, memory problems, mood changes, or ringing in your ears after a crash.
If you’re having trouble breathing after a crash, you may have injured your ribs or lungs.
You may not notice minor, non-displaced fractures, torn ligaments, and other joint injuries immediately. Tell your doctor if you’re having any pain with walking, lifting, reaching, or other activities.
Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder can increase over time, especially if you’re dealing with chronic pain or underlying mental health issues. If you lose interest in your daily activities, suffer panic attacks, or feel overwhelming sadness or worthlessness, consult with your doctor.
If you’re struggling to complete your daily tasks without pain, it’s in your best interest to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
The best thing you can do after an accident is to go to the doctor right away, even if you don’t think you’ve been seriously injured. At the ER or doctor’s office, give the nurses and physicians an accurate description of the crash and your current symptoms. They will write your complaints and history down, documenting the link between your injuries and the car accident.
If the time has already passed since your accident and you’re still experiencing pain, it’s not too late to visit your primary care physician or the emergency room. Your doctors will help you identify your injuries and recommend treatment that may help with your pain and limitations.
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A delayed diagnosis after a crash can still impact your life in many ways. You may need surgery and other intensive medical treatment, and could lose income while you’re unable to work. To get the compensation you deserve, you’ll need to file a claim with the insurance company.
However, when the insurance adjuster learns that you didn’t visit the doctor immediately, they may pressure you to settle for a low amount or deny your claim outright.
Don’t fall for their bullying tactics. Before you make any statements or agree to any kind of settlement, it’s in your best interest to speak with a personal injury lawyer. They can help guide you through the process and understand the real value of your claims.
At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we understand that every injury is serious, and every victim deserves justice. If you’ve suffered because of someone else’s negligence, you don’t have to go it alone. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are not afraid to take on the insurance company and get you the compensation you need to heal. We’ve recovered hundreds of millions for our clients and fight relentlessly on their behalf. Please call (251) 888-8888 today or complete a simple online form for your free case evaluation.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
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