The answer to this question is not always black and white. In some cases, car accident injuries can appear almost immediately after an accident. However, there are also instances in which injuries may not present themselves for days, weeks, or even months.
This makes seeking medical attention one of the most important things to do after a car accident, even when you don’t feel like you were injured. The doctor will be able to identify any injuries that you may have sustained and provide you with the appropriate treatment.
Seeking medical help immediately after an accident will also strengthen any potential personal injury claim you may make.
Car Accident Injuries that Take Time to Appear
- Whiplash: This is a common neck injury that occurs when the head is suddenly and forcefully jerked forward or backward. Symptoms of whiplash can include neck pain, stiffness, and headaches. Whiplash can often take days or even weeks to fully develop.
- Back injuries: Back injuries sustained in a car accident may not present themselves until days or weeks after the initial accident. Common back injuries include herniated discs and spinal cord damage. Symptoms of back injuries can include pain, numbness, and weakness.
- Emotional injuries: Emotional injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can be extremely debilitating but may not present themselves until long after the initial trauma. Symptoms of emotional injuries can include nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, and depression.
- Internal injuries: Internal bleeding is a serious injury that can occur in a car accident. This type of injury may not be immediately apparent, as symptoms may not develop until hours or even days after the accident. Symptoms of internal bleeding can include abdominal pain, shortness of breath, and dizziness.
- Brain injuries: Brain injuries, such as concussions, can have a wide range of symptoms that may not appear until days or even weeks after the initial trauma. Symptoms of a concussion can include headache, dizziness, nausea, and difficulty concentrating.
- Soft tissue injuries: Soft tissue injuries, such as bruising and swelling, can often take days or even weeks to fully develop. Symptoms of soft tissue injuries can include pain, tenderness, and limited range of motion.
- Fractures: Fractures, or broken bones, can be very painful but may not be immediately apparent after an accident. Symptoms of fractures can include pain, swelling, and bruising.
- Loss of Limbs: In some cases, an accident can result in the loss of a limb. This type of injury is obviously very serious and can have a profound impact on a person’s life.
Car Accident Injuries that Appear Immediately
- Cuts and lacerations: Cuts and lacerations are common injuries in California car accidents. Symptoms of cuts and lacerations can include bleeding, pain, and swelling.
- Bruises and Contusions: A bruise is caused by bleeding under the skin, while a contusion is a more serious type of bruise that involves damage to the underlying tissue. Both bruises and contusions can often be seen immediately after an accident. Symptoms of bruises and contusions can include pain, swelling, and tenderness.
- Sprains and Strains: A sprain is a stretching or tearing of the ligaments, while a strain is a stretching or tearing of the muscles or tendons. Symptoms of sprains and strains can include pain, swelling, and tenderness.
- Dislocations: A dislocation occurs when a bone is forced out of its normal position. Symptoms of dislocation can include pain, swelling, and tenderness.
- Fractures: While some fractures may not be immediately apparent, some fractures, such as open fractures, can often be seen immediately after an accident. Symptoms of a fracture can include pain, swelling, and tenderness.
- Head injuries: Head injuries, such as concussions, can often be seen immediately after an accident. Symptoms of a concussion can include headache, dizziness, nausea, and difficulty concentrating.
- Neck injuries: Symptoms of a neck injury can include pain, tenderness, and limited range of motion.
Why You Should See a Doctor Immediately After a Car Accident
- To rule out injuries: It is important to see a doctor after a car accident, even if you feel fine, in order to rule out the possibility of any hidden or internal injuries.
- To document your injuries: The value of your personal injury claim may hinge on the documentation of your injuries. By seeing a doctor immediately after an accident, you can ensure that your injuries are properly documented.
- To begin treatment: The sooner you begin treatment, the better your chances are of making a full recovery.
- To protect your health: Injuries sustained in a car accident can often have long-term effects on your health. By seeing a doctor immediately after an accident, you can help to ensure that your injuries do not have a lasting impact on your health.
- To protect your legal rights: If you wait too long to see a doctor after a car accident, the insurance company may try to argue that your injuries were not caused by the accident.
A California Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
After a car accident, it is important to seek the help of an experienced California personal injury lawyer. The roles of a lawyer in your personal injury case would be:
- To thoroughly investigate the accident and gather evidence to support your claim
- To negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf
- To file a lawsuit on your behalf, if necessary
- To take your case to trial, if necessary
Without a California car accident and personal injury lawyer by your side, you are bound to face an uphill battle in getting the compensation you deserve. This is because insurance companies are not in the business of paying out large settlements. In fact, insurance companies will often try to lowball accident victims or deny their claims altogether.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will level the playing field and fight to get you adequate compensation to cater for:
- Your medical bills
- Your lost wages
- Your pain and suffering
- Erosion of your quality of life
- Emotional distress
If you have been injured in a car accident, don’t hesitate to contact Pathway Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation. We will review your case and advise you on the best course of action. Call us at 1-888-414-3898 or contact us online to get started.