There are a range of injuries that may occur in a Fort Worth car accident. Some of these, such as broken bones and lacerations, are immediately apparent. Others, however, may take a few days or even longer to manifest symptoms.
For this reason, if you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you should seek medical attention right away—even if you do not think you have been injured.
Why Do Some Injuries Take Longer to Show Up?
In the moments following a motor vehicle accident, accident victims usually experience a surge of adrenaline. Adrenaline may actually mask the symptoms of a fresh injury. This is because adrenaline is produced during the body’s “fight or flight” response. To allow us to escape from a dangerous situation, adrenaline temporarily reduces the body’s ability to feel pain.
Once the adrenaline wears off, the accident victim may realize he or she has been injured. At that point, if medical attention was declined, it can cause issues in the accident victim’s legal claim.
Insurance adjusters may argue that if the victim were truly injured, medical attention would have been sought immediately.
Examples of Delayed Onset Injuries
Concussions and other types of traumatic brain injuries are among the most commonly diagnosed delayed onset injuries.
Traumatic brain injuries occur someone experiences a blow to the head. In some cases, the skull is penetrated. Traumatic brain injuries are common in motor vehicle accidents due to the amount of force involved in these crashes. Although many accident victims make a full recovery after sustaining a traumatic brain injury, some suffer permanent, debilitating disabilities.
Signs of traumatic brain injury may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Lack of coordination
- Speech problems
- Vision problems
- Having difficulty swallowing
- Losing consciousness
- Mood changes
The signs of traumatic brain injury may be very subtle. A delay in seeking treatment may lead to poorer outcomes for those with traumatic brain injuries. Therefore, obtaining medical attention as soon as possible after an accident is essential.
Although traumatic brain injuries may not exhibit any external symptoms right away, evidence of these injuries may be detected with imaging and other tests.
Soft tissue injuries may also take an extended period of time to develop. Soft tissue injuries refer to those that impact the tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
One of the most common accident-related soft tissue injuries is whiplash. When the head is suddenly thrown forward and back, as is common in many collisions, the neck muscles may be damaged. Whiplash soreness may not show up for a day or two.
The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention Immediately
Many of us are hesitant to seek medical attention if we do not believe we are seriously injured. However, after a motor vehicle accident, it is best to seek medical attention from first responders or from a nearby medical facility. Medical providers are able to identify injuries and begin treatment for them before they become worse.
In addition, insurance companies may try to argue that an accident victim is not as seriously injured as he or she claims if the victim did not seek medical attention right away. To avoid issues in a Dallas motor vehicle accident claim, obtaining medical treatment as soon as possible is best.
Settling Too Soon May Cost You Thousands of Dollars
Not long after you are involved in a Dallas car accident, insurance adjusters begin to call. They may make you a settlement offer within days of your crash.
However, if you accept this offer—and signs of a serious injury show up afterward—you will not receive any additional compensation. Settling a claim before your injuries have been fully evaluated may leave you responsible for thousands of dollars in medical expenses.
Call Today to Speak with an Experienced Fort Worth Accident Attorney
At Patterson Law Group, our attorneys are experienced in all types of accident claims. We ensure that any settlement offers fully compensate you for your losses, and, if your case must go to court, we are not afraid to fight the insurance companies. To schedule a free consultation with our firm, call (817) 784-2000 or contact us online.