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When car accident injuries appear after the fact

After a car accident, some people begin experiencing pain that wasn’t obvious at first. For some, this happens because of the adrenaline rush that occurs from the crash, blocking the pain receptors. Other people go into shock and don’t experience the injury right away.

The severity of the injury often becomes obvious days later, with the sudden onslaught of pain catching the person by surprise. In other cases, it can take weeks or even months for an injury to present itself.

Because of this phenomenon, it’s important to seek medical attention after a collision even if you don’t think you’re injured. Not only can this help prevent the injuries from escalating or doing worse damage, but it can also help with your legal case when you seek compensation.

What are the most common types of injuries that appear in the days following a crash?

  • Whiplash – this is an injury to the soft tissues in the neck. It commonly causes pain, stiffness and dizziness, and it can take weeks or months to appear.
  • Concussion – this head injury may not show up until hours or even a day later, because the symptoms are masked by the initial shock of the accident. Symptoms may include confusion, slurred speech, nausea, blurred vision, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating.
  • Back and spinal injury – the nerves, ligaments and muscles in the back can get pinched or torn, and the vertebrae can receive damage as well. Slipped discs are a common result of car accidents as well. Like the others, they may not be noticeable until days later, when they present themselves as stiffness, soreness, and losing your range of motion.

Some of these injuries can be quite expensive to treat, which is problematic if you’ve already filed claims and received compensation. That compensation likely didn’t account for late-arriving injuries, in which case you may end up strapped with a large medical bill.

Plan for delayed injuries

In the wake of your accident, after you’ve taken all of the precautionary measures to file a report, exchange insurance information, document the damage, and receive a preliminary medical examination, you should collaborate with an attorney who can help you plan for the possibility of delayed injuries.

If and when the injuries do show up, make sure you seek medical attention as soon as possible, and keep records of your doctor’s visits, medications, surgeries, and any other treatments. If you haven’t reached a settlement yet, you can still include the late-arriving injuries in your compensation.