Most, if not all, car accidents are traumatic events. There is a lot of force involved, from catastrophic collisions to fender-benders. Often, when people are in a car accident, they don’t feel pain right away. Car accidents are “exciting” from a physiological perspective. Your body generates adrenaline and endorphins during the incident itself. These two chemicals block pain in our bodies. Just because you feel fine after a car accident, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are fine. When injuries appear late, victims are often confused as to what to do. Here is what to do when car accident injuries appear late.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Car accidents, even low-speed ones, generate a lot of force. During a car accident, passengers get thrown around inside the car after it comes to a sudden stop. Perhaps the most common type of soft tissue injury is whiplash. This refers to damage to the neck muscles when the head is suddenly and forcefully thrown forward and back.
Soft tissue injuries typically result in swelling, pain, and reduced mobility, but these symptoms may not appear immediately. In fact, they can take days or even weeks to manifest. Also, soft tissue injuries are not visible on an X-ray. This makes them more challenging to diagnose and document.
Always See a Doctor
Following a car accident, you should see a doctor if you feel any level of pain or discomfort for an extended period that exceeds regular soreness. You should go even if you feel fine. Your doctor will be in the best position to determine whether you sustained a severe injury during the car accident. Suppose you end up making any sort of soft injury claim. In that case, it’s crucial to document the fact that you saw a doctor within a reasonable time frame. If you wait too long, that leaves room for the insurance adjuster to argue you weren’t hurt too badly.
Do Not Settle Right Away
Following a car accident, the other party’s lawyers may contact you and try to get you to sign a release of any claims you might have. The insurance company may even offer you a sum of money to entice you to sign the waiver. You should wait until you have been fully evaluated by a doctor before signing anything the adjuster puts in front of you. You should also wait long enough for all injuries to manifest. When you sign the release, you waive your legal right to pursue compensation.
We hope this brief guide on what to do when car accident injuries appear late will help you the next time you’re in any type of accident. Remember that if you have any sensation of pain, or even if you feel okay, you should still document the incident with a doctor.