One of the most critical steps you should take if you are involved in a car accident is to seek immediate medical attention, even if you are not experiencing any pain or symptoms. While some injuries, like severe cuts, lacerations, or broken bones, may be apparent, others may take hours, days, or even weeks to appear.
If you fail to seek medical attention after a wreck, an undiagnosed injury could worsen and be more challenging to treat. In addition, if you file a personal injury claim to recover damages, the insurance company will likely argue that your injury must not be severe if you did not find it necessary to seek treatment immediately following the accident.
If you suffered a delayed injury following a car accident, contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
What Are Common Symptoms of Delayed or Hidden Injuries?
When the body experiences any trauma, it often produces adrenaline. As a result, even if you suffered an injury, you may not experience any pain in the moments following the accident. In addition, you may experience increased energy and strength, sharper vision and hearing, and an overall feeling of calm. While this is your body’s way of protecting you, it could prevent you from recognizing that you have a potentially severe injury.
The following are common symptoms of delayed or hidden injuries that you should be aware of following a car accident:
- Headaches: While a headache following a car accident may seem benign, it can also be a symptom of a more severe injury, including a concussion or a traumatic brain injury.
- Neck and shoulder pain: The neck and shoulder absorb a great deal of trauma from the impact of an accident. While some people experience immediate pain, others may not feel symptoms for several days. Pain and stiffness could indicate a whiplash or more serious spinal cord injury.
- Back pain: Back injury symptoms may not be obvious immediately. You may feel pain, tingling, or numbness hours or days after the car accident. These symptoms could indicate a range of injuries, including soft tissue injuries, herniated discs, or spinal cord injuries.
- Abdominal pain: The extreme impact of an accident can also cause internal bleeding, which can be extremely serious or fatal if it is not quickly diagnosed and treated. If you experience pain, bruising, fainting, or dizziness, seek immediate medical attention.
- Numbness: While this may not be painful, numbness can indicate nerve damage. Your physician can diagnose the problem and create an effective treatment plan.
- Extreme mood changes: It is normal to feel shaken up, overwhelmed, and out of sorts after a car accident, particularly if you suffered an injury. However, if you experience extreme mood or behavior changes in the days or weeks following your car accident, it may be a traumatic brain injury symptom.
Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Delayed Injury?
You can avoid pursuing a lawsuit if you can reach a fair settlement with your insurance company or negotiate an out-of-court settlement with the at-fault driver. However, according to New York state law, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault motorist if your car accident meets specific criteria.
If you decide to take legal action against the other driver, you must file a personal injury lawsuit within three years of the date of the accident. If you miss this deadline, your claim will likely be denied. An experienced car accident lawyer can ensure your claim is filed before the statute of limitations expires.
How Do I Prove That a Delayed Injury Is Car Accident-Related?
If you seek financial compensation for your delayed injury, you must prove that the car accident caused the injury. While this can be more complicated if your injury was not apparent and you did not seek immediate medical attention, you might still be able to recover compensation. The personal injury claim process starts by collecting as much evidence as possible, including photos of your injuries, copies of your medical records, and statements from witnesses. A car accident lawyer will help you navigate this process.
What Are My Options for Recovering Compensation After a Car Accident?
New York is a no-fault insurance state, meaning you must file a claim with your insurance company first, regardless of who caused the accident.
If the costs associated with your injuries exceed your policy limits, and your injury qualifies as “serious” under the threshold set by New York state law, you may step outside of the no-fault insurance claim system and pursue a claim against the at-fault driver. This entitles you to additional damages, including pain and suffering.
Brooklyn Car Accident Lawyers at Rubenstein & Rynecki Represent Car Accident Survivors With Delayed Injuries
If you were involved in a car accident and suffered a delayed or hidden injury, speak with our skilled Brooklyn car accident lawyers at Rubenstein & Rynecki at your earliest convenience. We can review the details of your case, help determine who was responsible for causing the accident, and assist you with every step of the claims process. Our dedicated team can address your questions and concerns. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 718-522-1020 or complete our online form. We are located in Brooklyn, New York, and we proudly serve clients in New York City, including The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.