Car accidents are traumatic events which can expose individuals to tremendous amounts of force. From seemingly minor fender-benders to major, large-scale crashes involving multiple vehicles, traffic collisions can cause involved drivers and passengers can suffer a wide range of injuries such as broken bones, soft tissue injuries, concussions, lacerations, spinal cord damage, and internal hemorrhaging. While some injuries are obvious, in other cases, individuals involved in a crash may feel more or less fine and not feel any symptoms of their injuries until days or weeks have passed. Why is this the case, and what legal rights do injured individuals with delayed symptoms have?
Traffic Collisions Stimulate a Substantial Adrenal Response
When a person is involved in a collision, their body experiences a “fight or flight” response which heightens their senses and stimulates the release of adrenaline and endorphins, both of which can block pain. Similar to athletes who continue to play without knowledge of an injury until after the game has ended, car accident injuries can go unnoticed while victims are still in their excited state. Delayed symptoms are particularly common in soft-tissue injuries such as “whiplash,” an injury to the neck and upper back muscles which results from the sudden forward and backward whipping motion of the head during a collision. These types of injuries usually result in pain, swelling, and a reduced range of motion, though these symptoms may not surface until weeks after the date of injury. Since soft tissue injuries are invisible on x-rays, diagnosing and documenting these injuries can be a challenge. Similarly, mild traumatic brain injuries (TBI) such as concussions can also have delayed symptoms.
See a Doctor As Soon as Possible
Even if your collision was minor, it is highly recommended you seek a full medical evaluation after your crash to protect both your physical wellbeing and legal rights to compensation. Seeing a doctor within a reasonable amount of time can be crucial to the success of your claim. Generally speaking, the longer you wait to seek medical attention, the more likely the opposing driver’s insurance company is to question the cause of your injuries. Follow your doctor’s instructions and adhere to any treatments as prescribed. Likewise, if you should experience any sort of unexplained symptoms after your accident, do not take any chances and request a follow up appointment immediately. This will allow you to prove you sought medical help and verifies the duration and nature of your injuries. While delayed injuries may complicate your personal injury claim, even if you did not complain of or receive medical treatment for injuries at the scene of the accident, you may be entitled to compensation with the assistance of a skilled attorney. At Williams DeClark Tuschman Co., L.P.A., our Toledo personal injury attorneys have recovered more than $50 million on behalf of injured clients and have garnered numerous awards and accolades along the way, including multiple Best Lawyers® recognitions and an inclusion in Super Lawyers®. To find out more about how we can maximize your chances of securing the compensation you deserve, call us today at (419) 318-0772 or schedule your free case review online.