The minutes and hours after a car accident is not typically the time you may be in the proper mindset. You have just been through a harrowing experience that in some cases may leave you feeling lucky to be alive. Even the thought of a loved one in the car being injured or killed if not for some luck or the matter of inches can leave you jilted for some time.
This enhanced level of stress and strain can easily mask any injuries you may have suffered in the crash. You may refuse medical attention at the scene or decline to be transported to a hospital via an ambulance because you do not immediately see or feel an injury. Since you are walking around and even speaking with other people you may self-diagnose yourself to be uninjured. This can be dangerous and costly for you.
It is not unusual for many serious injuries sustained from a car accident to not show signs or symptoms for hours up to days after an accident. Here are two of the more critical injuries that are common in car accidents that often show delayed symptoms.
Traumatic brain injury – The most common form of brain injury from a car accident is a concussion. This is when your head is thrusted in such a way that an impact can cause the brain to come in contact with your skull. Common symptoms you may experience include headaches, sensitivity to bright lights, confusion, dizziness, nausea and fatigue. Without proper care you can encounter these afflictions for an extended amount of time. A visit to a doctor can determine if your brain suffered a more severe injury than a concussion.
Whiplash – A whiplash most often occurs when you are hit from behind unexpectedly and it causes your body to lunge forward while your head and neck encounter a delayed reaction to. When your neck and head catch up by being whipped forward, internal damage can be the result. Many times, the pain people feel from a whiplash is dismissed as normal aches from the accident that will eventually go away. However, without treatment, the pain will linger and can even get worse.
A diagnosis helps your claim
A delay in your diagnosis could hamper a claim if someone else is negligent for causing the accident. If lost income from missed work or endured longer medical care or physical therapy, you can be compensated. However, to get this benefit you need to show clear evidence that your injuries were from a car accident that someone else was responsible for causing. Without proper medical records or just delaying medical attention, your claim for compensation can be more challenging.
If you are in an accident, you should see a doctor to be fully cleared of any health problems that may have occurred at the time of the accident. If you believe your accident was the result of someone else’s negligence, you should contact a personal injury attorney right away to discuss how you can be compensated for any injuries, loss of income or medical costs that resulted from the accident.