In serious car accidents, you know that you have an injury right away. You may be unconscious or have broken bones. Not every injury is so apparent right away, however. You may have serious internal injuries or pain that you do not even realize until hours or even days after the accident. This occurrence is very common, but it is often misunderstood.
Just because your injuries are delayed does not mean that you cannot sue the at-fault driver. Get medical attention as soon as you realize you are hurt—and then call a Riverside auto collision attorney as soon as possible.
Why Is There a Delay?
Car accidents can be traumatic events, even if they are relatively minor. Your body reacts in strange ways under these circumstances. After a crash, your body is producing endorphins and adrenaline at very high levels. These hormones “supercharge” the body for a short time, dulling and even completely masking pain.
You may feel excitement and energy after an accident, instead of the pain that your body should be experiencing. Although you may feel fine after a crash, your body could be playing tricks on you. Once those chemicals work through your body, then your injuries may become apparent to you.
Delayed Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries damage the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your body. Although this damage can be severe, it can take your body hours or days to realize just how painful or significant those injuries really are. Unfortunately, even if you see a doctor right away after the crash, no test can really confirm a soft tissue injury. You may just have to wait and see if you experience common symptoms, including:
- Swelling and inflammation
- Decreased range of motion
- Muscle weakness
Whiplash is a typical example—you may feel fine just after the accident, but once your body realizes just how stretched and contracted your neck muscles and ligaments were during the crash, the pain will begin to set in. This damage can take days or even weeks to take full effect.
Settling Right Away is a BAD Idea
Because it takes time for your body to tell you that it has been hurt in a crash it is a good idea to wait on settling your case. You, and even your doctor, may not realize immediately just how this accident will affect your ongoing health, ability to work, or quality of life. You need time to assess all of these aspects of your car accident claim long before you start talking to an insurance company about settlement.
You may think that your case is not worth much because you don’t really have any injuries—and you might be wrong. The worst scenario is when you settle for a small amount right away only to realize that you need surgery or long-term physical therapy just days later. Don’t make this mistake. Call in the Riverside car accident lawyers at JML Law to help you with your claim. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.