"Whether it's a whiplash, serious injury or wrongful death case, we pride ourselves on representing you with the personal service and aggressive representation that you expect and deserve!" -Attorney Ron Sholes
Are Delayed Injuries Common After a Car Accident?
Car Accident Injuries That Don’t Appear for Hours, Days, or Weeks
Delayed injuries—or injuries that do not manifest symptoms right away—are very common after a car accident. This is because many people experience considerable shock immediately after being involved in a crash. This shock can mask the symptoms of an underlying injury for hours after the accident. In some cases, symptoms may not appear until an underlying injury begins to worsen from lack of medical attention; depending on the type of injury and its severity, this could result in someone not experiencing symptoms for days or even weeks.
If you suffered a delayed injury after a car accident, you still have the right to seek financial compensation for your related damages. It is important that you act quickly, as you have limited time to file an insurance claim and/or lawsuit. Contact The Law Offices of Ron Sholes, P.A. today to speak to one of our experienced attorneys about your potential case at absolutely no cost.
You can call us at (855) 933-3881 or you can submit a secure online contact form and a representative from our firm will be in touch with you shortly.
What Types of Car Accident Injuries Tend to Have Delayed Symptoms?
After a motor vehicle accident, some injuries are immediately apparent. Broken bones, lacerations, traumatic amputation—such injuries are not only obvious but also obviously require immediate medical attention. Other injuries, however, are harder to detect.
Common car accident injuries often associated with delayed symptoms include:
- Whiplash: Whiplash is one of the most common types of car accident injuries, and it is also one that often presents with delayed symptoms. Whiplash is a painful neck injury that occurs when the head and neck move rapidly back and forth, like a whip cracking. Symptoms may take hours or days to appear and include neck pain that worsens with movement, neck stiffness, reduced range of motion in the neck, inability to turn the head from side to side without pain, headaches, shoulder or back pain or tenderness, arm pain or tenderness, numbness or tingling in the arms, dizziness, and fatigue.
- Head/Brain Injuries: Closed-head brain injuries, in which there is no visible damage to the head or skull, can be very difficult to detect. Symptoms—which can range widely, depending on the type of injury suffered and its severity—may not appear for days or even weeks, meaning victims may not receive the critical early treatment they need to prevent further damage and improve recovery. There are various types of closed-head brain injuries, including concussions, coup-contrecoup, and diffuse axonal injuries. Such injuries can have devastating effects and, in severe cases, may even be fatal.
- Spine Injuries: Spine injuries—such as slipped or ruptured discs, nerve damage, and damage to the spinal cord or vertebrae—are also common in car accidents. Unfortunately, they may not result in symptoms for hours, days, or even weeks after the crash. Victims may experience delayed pain, pressure in the head or neck, reduced range of motion, loss of movement, numbness, tingling, loss of sensation, changes in sensation, and partial or total paralysis. Contrary to popular belief, even something as serious as paralysis may not appear right away; in many cases, paralysis is delayed or worsens over time.
- Sprains and Strains: Though they are not necessarily classified as catastrophic injuries, sprains and strains can lead to considerable pain, loss of mobility, reduced range of motion, and long recovery periods. These injuries may also present with delayed symptoms, such as pain, weakness, tenderness, swelling, or bruising near or at the affected area. Sprains and strains can also lead to muscle cramping and spasms and may cause an inability to put weight on the injury or use the affected body part normally without pain.
- Neck/Back Injuries: Neck and back injuries, including whiplash, are common in motor vehicle accidents. The rapid movement of the body that occurs when a vehicle stops suddenly can lead to sprains, strains, and other neck and back injuries, such as slipped, herniated, or ruptured discs. In the immediate aftermath of the accident, these injuries may not be apparent. In fact, in many cases, they can take hours or days to appear. Over time, symptoms can worsen significantly, especially without proper medical treatment.
- Psychological Injuries: Being involved in a car accident is a frightening experience. Many victims experience significant psychological harm in addition to physical injuries. Common psychological injuries after a car accident include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. Unfortunately, these mental health conditions can worsen over time without treatment, making it even harder for victims to seek help. To make matters worse, symptoms of these conditions are often delayed for days, weeks, or even months after an accident.
The Effects of a Delayed Injury After a Car Accident
Sadly, many people walk away from an accident feeling okay only to wake up the next day in excruciating pain. For others, the pain may build slowly over time. In such situations, victims are less likely to receive the immediate medical attention they need and could end up with worsened injuries, more painful symptoms, and various related complications. This tends to lead to more extensive—and costly—medical care, longer recovery periods, and more severe physical and mental pain and suffering.
Additionally, in Florida, you must seek medical treatment within 14 days of a motor vehicle accident to remain eligible for compensation under your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage. However, when the symptoms of an injury are delayed after a car accident, victims may not see a doctor or go to the hospital until more than 14 days have passed. If this happens, the victim cannot file a PIP claim—but they may have other options for seeking compensation.
When someone suffers a “serious injury” (as defined by the state of Florida) after a car accident, they have the right to go outside the no-fault system and bring a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. They could also sue the at-fault driver directly for damages. Both options allow the victim to pursue fair compensation for their damages outside of the boundaries and limitations of no-fault insurance.
Should You Hire a Lawyer If You Suffered Delayed Injuries After a Car Accident?
While you do not legally have to hire a lawyer to pursue an insurance claim, we strongly recommend that you work with our experienced team at The Law Offices of Ron Sholes, P.A. if you have suffered a delayed injury after a car accident. If you did not seek immediate medical attention, the insurance company will likely dispute the validity of your claim. You need someone by your side who can advocate for you by proving your injuries and damages.
Our attorneys are ready to stand up for you and your rights. We provide aggressive, client-focused legal representation throughout the entire process, along with consistent communication and frequent updates on the status of your case. There are no legal fees for you unless/until we recover compensation on your behalf.
Request a free consultation today; call (855) 933-3881 or contact us online to get started.