“Is everybody okay?” is the first question most people ask after hearing about a recent car accident. However, walking away from an accident pain-free does not necessarily mean you will remain that way. Musculoskeletal damage may not present symptoms until days, weeks, or months after the accident. Whiplash, which can occur at speeds as slow as five miles per hour, can lead to chronic issues, such as headaches or arthritis. Anyone who has been in a “fender bender” or any type of minor auto accident should seek medical attention immediately. You should educate yourself on which commonly-delayed symptoms to be aware of. If you start experiencing pain weeks or months after an accident, do not wait to see a doctor. Delaying a physical exam may end up costing you in terms of insurance compensation or the prolonging of subsequent legal matters. The following are some of the injuries that can result from minor car accidents.
Any unexpected jolt from a sudden stop or impact can overextend the small muscles, tendons, and ligaments that make up the cervical vertebrae. These neck muscles and tissues can be especially sensitive to an accident, resulting in misalignment of the spine. This and the subsequent swelling from tears and strains can cause pressure on nerves. Pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulder may stem from these physical issues. Headaches emanating from the base of the skull are likely to occur as well.
An auto impact causing little damage to the vehicle may cause serious problems for your lower body. As with the spine, knees are held together with an intricate system of muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bone. In a crash, any twisting action can throw the knee out of alignment. Meniscus tears are common and often require a long healing period. Pain or range of motion issues can occur immediately at the time of the accident or may develop sometime after the incident. A similar physiological scenario happens with the hips, pelvis, and low back. Herniated discs are often a result of the jarring and jolting of a car accident, and these slipped discs can cause a lifetime of discomfort, or may even require major surgery.
In the Wake of an Accident
Even though an accident seems to have been mild, it is never a good idea to assume there are no physical repercussions. The body utilizes adrenaline and shock to delay reactions to physical trauma. It is important to follow through as thoroughly as possible to provide thorough evidence for an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit:
- Document your injuries.
- Discuss the necessity of radiographs with your physician.
- Photograph any visible physical injuries, including bruises, cuts, and contusions. Take pictures of damage to your vehicle as well.
- When speaking with insurance representatives, be sure to mention any pain, discomfort or symptoms of injury. Having this information documented will help protect your legal rights throughout the case.
In addition, know the Statute of Limitations. After an accident, you have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit, depending on the circumstances. Investigate what time limits you have, and, during this time, track your physical well-being for any correlations between your symptoms and the accident. If you miss the deadline for the Statute of Limitations, you will surrender your legal rights. For most personal injury cases, the Statute of Limitations is four years from the date of the accident.
Hancock Injury Attorneys– Personal Injury Attorneys in Tampa
If you have been in a car accident – however minor – you may have suffered injuries that you are not even yet aware of. If symptoms appear, seek medical attention immediately. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other associated costs. Mike Hancock has extensive experience as a former insurance company attorney for Allstate, GEICO, State Farm, and Progressive. He uses this insider knowledge to form an educated strategy for each case, obtaining millions of dollars for clients over the years. If you are looking for a highly-skilled, experienced personal injury attorney, contact us today for a free consultation.