Post-Accident Pain: Uncovering Late-Appearing Car Accident Injuries
Some injuries from a car accident are obvious, such as a broken arm or a skull fracture. Other times they aren't as clear but the accident victim may still experience post-accident pain. It's important to uncover these late-appearing car accident injuries so you can properly address them in a claim.
Types of Post-Car Accident PainPost-car accident pain is common after a car accident. But sometimes it doesn't manifest until a significant period of time afterward. Sometimes the initial pain gets progressively worse. Pain oftentimes affects the neck, back, arms and legs. But widespread discomfort after an accident isn't uncommon.
Common Types of Hidden or Late-Appearing Car Accident InjuriesPain can be a result of ligaments, muscles or tendons getting stretched or torn. A partial or complete tear can take a few weeks before feeling better. Pain can also occur from muscle spasms, strains, and sprains.
But there may be other symptoms, such as weakness, numbness and reduced range of motion. For example, accident victims may develop whiplash in an accident that damages the soft tissue (tendons, muscles, etc.) in the neck.
This might not be apparent right after an accident when adrenaline is still high, but may start to manifest in the hours or days after. In other cases, some might not be aware of concussion symptoms right away, but symptoms may manifest in the hours afterward.
Effects of Late-Appearing InjuriesThe effects depend on where the injury occurred and its severity. Muscle soreness or neck and back pain can linger for several weeks. Whatever the source, it could impact the accident victim's ability to perform routine tasks around the home or take care of oneself. It may prevent the person from enjoying his/her favorite recreational activities. It could even result in missed time from work.
How to Prove Post-Accident InjuriesIt's important to seek medical attention after an accident, even if there aren't obvious signs of injury. But it's also critical to see a doctor later if new symptoms arise.
Keeping a pain journal can help show the impact of injuries, whether they were immediately evident or appeared a few hours or days later. In the journal, note the specific location of the pain, such as lower back or right shoulder. Distinguish its severity by rating it on a scale of 1 to 10, or indicate if it's mild, moderate or severe. Also, describe the pain, such as throbbing, tingling, shooting or aching.
Be sure to assemble all relevant medical records. Also, collect any documentation that shows treatment received, which may include physical therapy or chiropractic care.
Don't Delay Seeking Legal AdviceMany people are reluctant to contact an attorney because they think no one will believe they're in pain. It might not be something you can show in an x-ray or a blood test. But an attorney understands how common chronic pain can be and how to prove it.
It's important to not settle a claim too soon. You want to be sure there is a good understanding of the full scope of your injuries, including any late-appearing injuries. At the same time, don't wait too long because there is a deadline for filing a personal injury claim.