Nearly all car crashes can become a traumatic event. From simple fender-benders to catastrophic accidents, there is a lot of force involved when a vehicle hits something. Many times, when someone is involved in a car crash that seems relatively minor, they may not notice any symptoms of injury immediately. This can happen due to many reasons. In this article, we are going to discuss the importance of monitoring your injuries after a car crash — for both your physical rehabilitation as well as your legal rights following an accident.
Car Accidents Are Full Of Adrenaline
While car crashes are not fun in the regular sense, they are psychologically stimulating.
For instance, athletes may be injured during a game but will still continue to play without really noticing the extent of their injuries until the end of the game. This is because their bodies are creating adrenaline and endorphins. Together, these two chemicals will help to keep our bodies going despite pain, even blocking the sensation of an injury.
Many car crashes will have a similarly heightened sense of excitement causing your body to produce adrenaline and endorphins which will give you greater energy and some numbness to any pain experienced. You are not entirely fine just because you may feel that you are okay immediately after an auto accident. The pain from any injuries sustained in a car crash still not become noticeable until these chemicals subside.
Soft Tissue Injuries After an Auto Accident
A soft tissue injury is essentially any damage to parts of the body other than bone. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments are usually considered as “soft tissue.”
Auto accidents, even at a low speed, will usually create a lot of force. Drivers and passengers will usually stop suddenly along with the car in an accident, or they may be thrown around the inside of the vehicle. This will place a great amount of stress on the joints and other vulnerable parts of the body.
Maybe the most typical — and maybe the most recognized — form of soft tissue injury is “whiplash.” This is used to refer to an injury to the neck muscles when the head is forcefully and suddenly thrown forward and then back again.
Injuries to soft tissue will usually cause pain, swelling, and reduced mobility. However, these symptoms may not be noticeable immediately after an accident. Sometimes it can take days or weeks to manifest. Also, injuries to soft tissue are not usually visible to an X-Ray scan. Because of this, it is sometimes more difficult to diagnose and document soft tissue injuries. Seeking adequate medical treatment is the first step, even before you start to feel any signs of pain or discomfort.
Concussions After an Auto Accident
Your brain is protected by your skull and the fluid it contains, but if you strike your head, or your body is shaken violently, your brain may hit the inside of your skull with great force. If this occurs during an auto accident, you could possibly experience a concussion.
Concussions can be very serious, and the symptoms are not always readily apparent right after an injury. There are times when the symptoms are fairly obvious — such as disorientation of a loss of consciousness — but they can be more subtle in other cases. Possible symptoms of a concussion can include:
- Hazy thinking;
- Inability to concentrate;
- Difficulty remembering new information;
- Blurred vision;
- Lack of energy; and
- Irregular sleeping patterns (sleeping more or less than usual)
If you experience any of these symptoms after an auto accident, you could have a concussion, and you should seek immediate medical help from a trusted physician.
Consult With a Doctor After an Auto Accident
After a car crash, you should always see a physician if you experience any type of pain or discomfort. It could even be beneficial to seek treatment if you are feeling completely fine. Your physician will be best equipped to determine if you have sustained any serious injuries after a crash. Your physician can also provide advice on how to monitor symptoms for potential injuries, including usual red flags to be aware of.
If you decide to file any type of injury claim following a collision, it is important that you document the fact that you sought medical treatment within a reasonable period of time. If you take too long to see a physician, the insurance adjuster could argue that you were not seriously injured as a basis to deny your claim.
Do Not Settle Right Away
After a car crash, the insurance provider of the other driver may reach out to you and attempt to get you to sign a release of any claims that you may have. The insurance provider may also offer you a sum of money to persuade you to sign the release.
It is best to wait until you have been fully evaluated by a medical practitioner before signing anything offered by an insurance adjuster. You should also give enough time so that all injuries associated with the car crash have become fully manifested. Your physician can also assist you in determining how long this should be. If you do sign a release, and an injury manifests later, you are unable to go back to the insurance provider and ask them to cover your medical treatments. You would have effectively waived your legal right to seek compensation after signing the release.
Utah State Car Accidents
Car crashes are very sudden, but they can potentially leave those involved with life-changing injuries. In Utah, the leading cause of fatal car crashes is due to speeding, which accounts for 40 percent of all deadly accidents in the state. Whatever the reason, victims should seek legal counsel from a qualified Utah car accident attorney to regain lost compensation after a crash.
At Siegfried & Jensen, we have been helping the people of Utah for over 30 years regain lost compensation after a crash. Contact our law offices today at (801) 845-9000 if you have been injured due to a reckless driver.