When your body is faced with a dangerous or stressful situation—like a car accident—it counters by producing adrenaline and endorphins that trigger a fight-or-flight response. Oxygen levels increase and blood flow is redirected to the heart, suddenly giving your body the energy it needs to get out of harm’s way. This reaction not only heightens your level of performance, but it masks your sense of pain.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s not uncommon to have delayed symptoms. In the moments after a crash, you tend to focus on your surroundings: the passengers, the damage sustained to your vehicle, and the other driver. It’s not until days, months, or even years later that you can start to feel pain and discomfort. If your injuries don’t materialize until after the accident, you might wonder if you’re still eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. Here’s what to know about having a delayed injury after an auto accident.
Injuries That May Not Appear Immediately After a Car Accident
It’s important to know that, even if an accident occurs when both vehicles are moving at slow speeds, serious injury is still relatively common. The force of impact can cause your body to abruptly jolt around the passenger area or into hard objects like the steering wheel, windshield, door, or window.
Here are a few different kinds of injuries that can take longer to materialize.
- Soft tissue damage: Soft tissue surrounds the organs and bones in your body and includes fat, muscle, blood vessels, and nerves. Drivers and passengers involved in a car crash often come to an abrupt stop, which whips their bodies forward. This type of injury frequently results in soft tissue damage and can cause long-term pain, swelling, and limited mobility. The most common soft tissue injury is whiplash, which occurs when your neck is forcefully jerked forward. Soft tissue damage can take weeks to develop.
- Concussions: When your head is suddenly and violently shaken, your brain can hit the side of your skull with great force. This usually results in a concussion, a very serious injury that can cause nausea, headaches, ringing in the ears, vomiting, and blurry vision. It’s not uncommon for concussion symptoms to emerge long after the injury was sustained.
- Traumatic brain injury: In a similar vein, the sudden jolt of a car crash can sometimes lead to a traumatic brain injury. When your head rapidly hits the inside of your vehicle, it can cause your brain to begin swelling. A traumatic brain injury can affect the victim’s reasoning, memory, and emotions, as well as cause problems with their mobility, vision, hearing.
If you feel pain after your vehicular accident, you may be a victim of organ damage, brain hemorrhages, or internal bleeding. Seek medical attention as soon as possible if you start to feel any symptoms.
See a Doctor After You Get into a Car Accident
There are a few reasons why it’s so important to see a doctor after your car accident, even if you don’t feel any immediate symptoms.
First, going to a doctor will document that you sought immediate medical treatment. This will be helpful if you eventually do develop an injury and decide to pursue a case for recovery. Without a speedy trip to the doctor’s office, it can appear to an insurance adjuster that you aren’t all that injured.
Likewise, if you feel any kind of pain or discomfort after an accident, visiting the doctor will help you determine if you have a serious injury. Even if you don’t have any immediate symptoms, it couldn’t hurt to get checked out. A medical professional will be able to determine whether you’ve sustained any injuries that are taking a long time to materialize. Likewise, your doctor can tell you how to monitor your symptoms in the days and weeks that follow the accident.
Even if you don’t seek medical care right away, you still have a claim for compensation against the negligent driver. If this is the case, it’s important to consult with a well-trained attorney who specializes in auto-accidents to help you receive compensation for your injuries.
The Attorneys at Michigan Legal Center Can Help with Your Car Accident Injuries
If you’re facing delayed injury from a car accident, the experienced lawyers at Michigan Legal Center can help protect your rights and pursue a case for recovery. Our qualified injury attorneys will launch an investigation into the events of the accident and put together a case that will help you get the financial capital you deserve. With more than 20 years of experience helping clients win more than $200 million worth of legal cases, our skilled team is here to fight for you. Call 1-800-961-8477 or complete our contact form for your free consultation.