While many injuries people suffer in car accidents are apparent right way, others may take some time to start showing symptoms. This is often the case in minor crashes, such as a fender-bender when both vehicles were traveling at relatively slow speeds. However, these injuries can end up being just as serious as those that show up right away—and the fact that there’s a delay can impact injured people’s ability to secure compensation.
That’s why it’s so important to consult a personal injury attorney after a car accident, even if you believe your injuries are relatively minor. Premature settlement could prevent you from recovering the monetary damages to which you are entitled.
Causes of delayed injury symptoms
Car crashes are almost always accompanied by a rush of endorphins and adrenaline for those involved. Adrenaline reduces the body’s ability to feel pain, and so any injuries you’ve suffered might not be apparent until later.
The inability to detect damage to soft tissue—such as internal organs, muscles and ligaments—with X-ray machinery can also make some types of car accident injuries more difficult to diagnose for physicians. And, in some cases, soft tissue and brain scans do not get administered until after a victim has already begun to display symptoms of very serious injuries.
These two factors can have potentially detrimental effects on a victim’s long-term health. The failure to seek medical attention could lead to lasting damage to soft tissue areas of the body. As such, it is important to develop an effective course of treatment immediately following an accident.
Another common injury sustained in car accidents is a concussion, the symptoms of which are also not ways immediately discernable. Concussions, which happen when brain is violently shaken back and forth, can impair one’s cognitive functioning and significantly affect brain health in the long term. This may lead to regular dizziness, nausea and sleep disturbance.
In addition, a variety of other ailments may appear days or even weeks after a car accident occurs. Headaches, whiplash, back pain, numbness and even post-traumatic stress disorder are common problems for injury victims.
What to do after a car accident
After a motor vehicle accident, an insurance company may try to get you to agree to a settlement quickly, before you know the true extent of your injuries. This can be a big mistake, as you may find yourself with inadequate compensation to cover your long-term medical treatment if you later discover that your injuries are much worse than you previously thought.
To help avoid this problem, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible after your car accident. Then, speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer at Wallace Childers PLLC to learn more about your legal options. The firm’s team serves people dealing with car accident injuries throughout both North Carolina and South Carolina.