Some car accident injuries can be delayed, with symptoms only showing up hours or days later. This includes some serious, life-threatening injuries. Victims should see a doctor about any pain, swelling, unusual bruising, or other symptoms as soon as possible to receive treatment or ensure they do not have more serious injuries.
If you suffered injuries in a crash, discussing your rights and options with a car accident lawyer is the best option for determining what to do next. A personal injury law firm can handle your case and help you seek compensation for your damages.
Types of Injuries Without Obvious Symptoms
Many significant injuries do not have immediate, apparent symptoms following a crash. Even when there are signs of a potentially serious injury, the body’s reaction to a collision can make it difficult to feel the pain or notice a limited range of motion. Some types of injuries that may not manifest immediately include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Concussions and other brain injuries do not always have immediate symptoms. Sometimes, the person even loses consciousness for a short amount of time and is unaware of it. Symptoms develop over the hours following the crash. This could include headaches, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and fatigue.
Whiplash is an injury to the soft tissues of the shoulders and neck that support the head. When an accident whips the head back and forth, it can damage these soft tissues. The symptoms—pain, limited range of motion, stiffness, dizziness, and numbness in the arms or hands—could take hours or even days to appear.
Some back injuries take time to develop swelling, pain, and other symptoms. This could include pinched nerves, herniated discs, and even some injuries that affect the spinal cord. Some of these injuries could be serious and even lead to long-term pain and limited mobility.
If you have internal bleeding, you might not realize it right away. When there is an injury to an internal organ, it could bleed quickly or relatively slowly. Often, the pain and bruising indicative of these injuries take hours or days to develop. Internal bleeding can require emergency surgery or even lead to death if you do not get care quickly enough.
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Why Getting Immediate Medical Care Is Important to Your Case
There are multiple benefits to seeing a doctor as soon as possible after a crash or as soon as symptoms appear. First, it allows you to receive a diagnosis, begin treatment, and ensure you do not have any other undiscovered injuries. With quick care, it might be possible to limit the severity of your injury or help you heal faster.
The other reason why you want to receive a diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as possible after a crash is because of your legal case. When another driver causes an accident, you must show they caused the collision and your injuries. If you go to the hospital a week or two after your crash, it might be difficult to tie the diagnosis to the accident.
Seeing a doctor promptly following an accident or as soon as symptoms appear may make it easier to hold the at-fault driver accountable. You’ll have proof from the doctor that your injuries are linked to the accident.
Pursuing Damages Based on Delayed Car Accident Injuries
While it might be more difficult to document your accident-related injuries if you do not have immediate symptoms, you can still pursue the money you need to pay your bills. Accident victims can seek compensation through an insurance claim based on the at-fault driver’s auto liability insurance policy.
Alternatively, your car accident lawyer might recommend suing the careless or reckless driver who caused your collision.
The damages recoverable in car accident cases vary but generally include:
- Medical treatment for your accident-related injuries
- Future medical treatment needs
- Ongoing care and support for catastrophic injuries
- Current and future lost income
- Reduced earning ability if there are lasting injuries that prevent you from going to work
- Car repairs and other property damages
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Mental and emotional suffering
- Wrongful death damages for families of fatal crash victims
Do You Have to Sue to Recover Fair Compensation?
Most car accident victims do not need to sue to get the money they need to cover their injuries and related expenses. They recover compensation through an insurance claim and settlement negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier.
However, there are some circumstances when a lawsuit might benefit the case. A car accident lawyer familiar with the details of your case and the outcomes of similar cases can advise you on whether filing a lawsuit is in your best interest. Some reasons why an attorney might recommend a lawsuit include:
- The deadline to sue is approaching and you do not want to miss your chance to take legal action
- The insurance company denied your claim
- The insurance adjuster will not work toward a fair settlement agreement
- There are other circumstances that make your lawyer believe you would benefit from a lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit does not mean the case will go to trial. Most lawsuits never go before a jury. Settlement negotiations continue, and many settle outside of court. Only rarely is it necessary to go to a jury trial to recover car accident compensation.
Talk to a Car Accident Attorney About Your Legal Options for Free
Morris Bart law firm’s car accident attorneys provide free consultations for crash victims hurt in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, or Arkansas. We represent clients in15 offices across the Gulf South. You can learn more about your case, our services, and your rights during your free case assessment.
Contact us over the phone today to get started. Having our attorney go to work on your case costs you nothing upfront.
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