Delayed Injuries from a Car Accident
Any vehicle accident is a traumatic event. When an automobile hits (or is hit by) something, there is a certain amount of force involved. Many who are involved in a car crash that seems minor do not notice injury symptoms immediately. This occurs for various reasons. It is crucial to understand the importance of monitoring your injuries after a vehicle crash for the sake of your health and to preserve your legal rights.
Delayed Injuries from an Accident
Soft Tissue Injuries After an Automobile Accident
A soft tissue injury is damage done to areas of the body other than the bones. “Soft tissue” includes ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Even low-speed automobile accidents produce a significant amount of force. Motorists and passengers often come to an abrupt halt right along with the vehicle in a car crash. They may also get thrashed around in the passenger area. This creates substantial pressure on the joints and other vulnerable body areas.
“Whiplash” is one of the most common, if not most recognized soft-tissue injury. In these types of injuries, the neck muscles are damaged when the head is abruptly and forcefully thrashed back and forth.
Typically, soft tissue injuries cause pain, inflammation, and decreased mobility. However, these symptoms may not manifest immediately. It can take days or even weeks or months before symptoms show up. X-ray images usually do not show soft-tissue injuries, making them harder to find and document. It is crucial to undergo medical treatment at or even before the initial sign of discomfort or pain.
Concussions after a Vehicle Crash
The skull protects the brain and the fluid within it. But if your body is violently jerked or if you strike your head, your brain may be thrashed around within your skull with significant force. In case this occurs during an automobile crash, you may sustain a concussion.
Concussions can be a serious condition, and the signs usually do not manifest immediately. Sometimes the signs are apparent (such as loss of consciousness or disorientation), but they can also be less obvious. Following is a list of symptoms associated with concussions:
- Failure to focus
- Unclear thought process
- Lack of energy
- Trouble recalling new information
- Blurry vision
- Abnormal sleep patterns (sleeping less than or more than normal)
If you experience any of the above symptoms after a vehicle accident, you may have suffered a concussion and should seek immediate medical care.
Consult a Medical Professional after a Vehicle Accident
After a vehicle accident, you should consult a doctor if you feel any discomfort or pain. Even if you feel fine, it is still best to get examined. Your physician will be best positioned to assess whether you have sustained any severe injuries in the crash. Your doctor can also offer you advice on monitoring signs of possible injuries, including the red flags to look out for.
To make any type of injury claim after the wreck, it is vital to be able to document the fact that you sought medical care within a reasonable duration. If you wait too long to see a medical practitioner, the insurance provider will contend that your injuries couldn’t have been all that serious.
Do Not Accept the First Settlement Offer that You Receive
After an automobile crash, the other motorist’s insurance provider may contact you and try to encourage you to sign a release of any claims you might have. The insurer may offer you a sum of money to provide you with an incentive to sign the release.
Before you sign anything that the insurance adjuster presents, you should be thoroughly evaluated by a qualified doctor. In addition, you should wait long enough to ensure that all injuries from the vehicle crash have completely manifested themselves.
In case you sign a release, and an injury presents itself later, you cannot go back to the insurer and seek compensation for medical expenses. When you sign the release, it precludes you from pursuing compensation in the future.
Consider an Injury Settlement Only After Maximum Medical Improvement
This is why you should complete your medical treatment before you can accept an injury settlement to get an accurate idea of the total cost. Injuries tend to get worse over a period of time. Additional treatment may be required, along with medications, doctor appointments, and rehabilitation therapy among others. For instance, in the case of knee injuries, multiple medical solutions may be required. You won’t be able to receive money for additional treatments if you settle early.
Never head into a negotiation blind. This is especially important with expensive damages, such as medical costs. These costs involve several factors for calculations, such as recovery timelines, length, severity, treatment, and impact on the victim’s life. You should settle only after deciding the total cost of all factors, which requires the assistance of a qualified attorney.
If you have suffered injuries after a vehicle crash, you should speak to a seasoned vehicle accident attorney at the law offices of John H. Ruby & Associates in Kentucky. We can help you present a strong case and obtain the maximum possible compensation from the responsible party that led to your injuries. Call us today at (502) 895-2626 for a free, no-obligation consultation.