Delayed Symptoms After a Car Accident to Monitor

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If you’ve been in a car accident with injury, your focus is likely on the immediate damage to your body. Bleeding and bone fractures are two obvious examples.

While you should seek medical attention for these right away, many injuries do not manifest until hours or days after the crash. There are also cases in which a victim does not believe he or she has suffered anything more than minor injuries, or perhaps none at all.

Regardless of your condition, it is critical to both your health and legal rights that you see a doctor immediately to check for delayed injuries after a crash. For help handling all legal aspects of your accident injuries and damages, count on our firm’s car accident lawyers in Greenwood. Contact the Hite Law Firm Trial Lawyers today.

The Most Common Delayed Car Accident Injuries

Right after being involved in a physically traumatic event like a car accident, the body releases large doses of stress hormones, such as cortisol. These are designed to help you survive a dangerous situation and handle the rush of emotions surrounding automobile wrecks.

Your body may also experience adrenaline, inflammation, and even shock. Biological responses like these can dull and sometimes even hide pain that could tell the victim that there are more serious injuries.

Some of the most common delayed car accident injuries to know about include:

  • Whiplash and other neck or back injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries (muscles, tendons, ligaments)
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Concussion
  • Internal bleeding
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

To determine whether you are suffering from any of these, be aware of these delayed car accident symptoms and the injuries they often indicate:

  • Headache: Concussion or brain bleeding.
  • Tingling or numbness: Whiplash or spinal cord injury.
  • Delayed neck pain and stiffness: Whiplash.
  • Back and shoulder pain: Ligament and muscle damage.
  • Speech and cognitive impairment: TBI or concussion.
  • Anxiety and mood changes: PTSD, TBI, or concussion.
  • Abdominal pain: Internal bleeding.

Medical Reasons to Get Prompt Medical Attention

If you have any of the above-delayed symptoms after being in a car accident, you should know that the potential for serious and perhaps irreversible injury is real. You may feel completely fine or believe you’ve only got a few cuts or bruises. You might even think you have suffered no injuries at all.

If you don’t see a doctor, however, the risk for serious complications will grow. You will also likely have a more painful and complicated recovery.

Therefore, visit the emergency room by ambulance or on your own accord right after the crash.

If nothing else, at least see your doctor at your earliest convenience. Your doctor should give you a full physical evaluation, begin a treatment regimen, and refer you to a specialist if necessary.

After your initial examination, be sure you follow all of your doctor’s recommendations, including getting sufficient bed rest and attending follow-up appointments. Also, take any prescribed medications and follow the instructions related to them. Ask questions if you have any new symptoms or complications of your existing ones.

Legal Reasons to Get Prompt Medical Attention

Your health is your top priority after being in a car crash. Second, on your list of concerns should be your legal right to seek monetary compensation from the at-fault party.

If you fail to see a doctor immediately or within a reasonable period after your crash, it may harm your ability to recover damages for delayed car accident injuries.

The at-fault party’s insurers and their lawyers may argue that the gap in time between the accident and when you sought medical attention aggravated your injuries; in other words, they could blame you for your physical and mental condition.

Any time lapse allows the defendant’s attorneys and insurance company to:

  • Claim that something or someone else, besides the defendant, caused or made your injuries worse (which could undermine the causation element of a personal injury claim).
  • Insist that you are not as hurt, or in as much pain, as you say you are.
  • Either make an unreasonably low settlement offer or deny your claim outright.

Can Victims Still Recover Compensation If They Didn’t Immediately Notice Their Injuries?

Remember, it is strongly advised that you follow all recommended treatment regimens and attend follow-up appointments. To refute false claims that you either have failed to see your doctor promptly or kept up with your treatment, keep a personal note of the following:

  • The amount of rest you are getting
  • Phone calls you have had with your doctor or nurse, including the date, time, and subject of conversation
  • Visits to your doctors and other medical professionals
  • How often you are taking your medications, plus any related conditions like dietary restrictions
  • Symptoms you experience and the medical advice you receive for them
  • The names of your doctors, nurses, and others you speak to about your condition

These steps can provide valuable evidence that can protect your right to damages.

If you can’t see a doctor right away, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s your fault or you cannot ask for compensation from the defendant. Perhaps you can’t see your primary care physician because he or she is unavailable. You may go to the ER and be severely delayed, which is common. You might even have to go pick up your children after the accident and before you can see your doctor.

Although we stress that you should make every effort to seek immediate medical attention, there are countless reasons this cannot always happen. Document your reasons and share them with your attorney.

Let Us Help Make Your Best Possible Claim for Damages

Our team of car accident lawyers works with victims who have delayed symptoms after car accidents. Regardless of what the defendant argues, we will make every effort to seek the maximum amount of damages available under the law. Settlement with the insurance company is always an option, but so is a trial if the insurer refuses to negotiate in good faith.

Call the Hite Law Firm today at 864-664-2252 or use our online contact form today.

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