Those involved in car accidents often are left dealing with serious injuries. While most of these injuries present symptoms immediately, some may take time to make themselves known. Injuries with delayed symptoms can be very dangerous as accident victims often mistake them for lesser problems, unrelated to their accident.
It is critical that those who have been involved in car accidents continue to monitor their health for days and even weeks after an accident. Even a minor headache that occurs a few days after a crash could be a sign of a more serious problem.
Seek a Medical Examination Immediately
After you are involved in an accident, it is important to get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible. Allow paramedics to evaluate your condition at the scene. Even if they determine that you have not been seriously injured you should still go to a hospital for a more thorough follow-up exam with a doctor.
The fact that you are feeling fine does not mean that you are fine. There are a variety of reasons that a serious injury might not be immediately noticeable. One of these reasons is that after a car accident, your body will be pumping adrenaline through your system. The adrenaline masks any aches or pains that you may otherwise be feeling.
Additionally, some injuries, like whiplash, often take days to manifest symptoms. Accident victims may walk away from the crash without any noticeable aches or pains only to find they have a serious injury days later. A seemingly minor injury could lead to a life-threatening infection if not treated in time.
Monitor Yourself After an Accident
Even with a thorough checkup from a doctor after an accident, it is still possible that an injury may be missed. That is why it is essential that anyone involved in an accident continues to monitor themselves over the following weeks after an accident.
Be mindful of any aches or pains you feel, even if they do not appear for days afterward. If you notice anything that seems out of the ordinary, return to your doctor for a follow-up examination. They may catch something the second time around that they missed during their initial evaluation.
Once you have begun displaying symptoms, it can be much easier to identify where they should focus their efforts and what possible injuries you have suffered.
Delays Can Harm Your Health and Your Legal Case
It is important to identify any injuries as soon as possible. Delays to diagnosis can hurt you in multiple ways. Many injuries will continue to worsen if they are not treated promptly. Additionally, it will be a lot harder to link your injury to your car accident if it is not diagnosed soon after.
When filing a claim with an insurance company or a lawsuit against the liable party, they will attempt to cast doubt on your injury. If there is no documentation of the injury for days after the accident, it will be far easier for them to make a case that you injured yourself afterward and are now trying to collect additional money at their expense.
Even if an original examination does not show anything, the doctor’s visit can still help. When you go back and get a confirmed diagnosis, your doctor can testify about why the injury may not have shown up in their initial assessment and help correlate your accident and your injury.
Talk to a Lawyer After an Accident
The best way to ensure you receive compensation for an injury is to talk to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. A personal injury lawyer can help assure that you receive fair compensation for any injury, whether it is immediately prevalent or not.