If you’ve just been in a car accident, you may go through a range of emotions, including shock, anger and even guilt. If you were seriously injured, you may be facing huge medical costs, lifetime disability, lost wages and psychological trauma.
In some situations, your injuries may be immediately obvious after the accident. If you remembered what to do after a car accident, you probably called 911 and waited for help to arrive. You may have been brought to the hospital, where emergency room doctors examined you and treated your injuries.
But not all injuries show up right away. Many people who feel “ok” after an accident may actually just be in a state of shock, where their physical pain is temporarily numbed from a surge of adrenalin. You may not feel the symptoms of some injuries until several days or weeks later.
The two most common injuries from auto accidents that don’t show up right away are soft-tissue injuries and nervous system injuries.
Soft-tissue injuries are damage to your ligaments, tendons and muscles without any immediately visible trauma. In car accidents, the most common syndrome is called “whiplash,” associated with damage to the soft-tissue of the neck. This is caused by the rapid forward and back motion of the head after being hit by a car.
Concussions and Nerve Damage
Nervous system injuries include concussions, brain injuries and spinal cord damage. The symptoms of these may not show up for weeks. A concussion can occur by the same rapid motion of the skull that causes whiplash, even without being hit in the head. New research shows that concussions are much more damaging than previously thought, causing permanently reduced cognitive ability, memory loss as and emotional problems.
To protect your health and well-being, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible after a car crash. Early detection and early treatment can potentially reduce the long-term impact of these injuries.
Doctor’s Visits and Injury Claims
There is also a financial reason to get examined early. If you do have an injury, but you took too long to schedule a doctor’s appointment, this might be used to deny a claim.
Some insurance companies may offer a settlement before you’ve had a chance to visit a doctor. They may try to get you to sign a waiver releasing them from further liability claims. Do not take this settlement without speaking with an attorney first. Keep in mind, the insurance companies are businesses trying to make money and they will look for excuses to avoid paying out claims.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, call Peterson & Associates, P.C.™ today. We will work to get you the maximum compensation you are entitled to.