Car accidents can be very traumatic, even if they are minor rear-end collisions. These accidents affect both the victim’s mental and physical well-being. For smaller accidents, victims may not become aware of their physical injuries until some time after the accident.
There are various reasons as to why your body cannot instantly process the physical injuries instantly after an accident. Thus, it is very important for a victim to monitor their physical state after the accident even if they believe that they are well.
- What is the Adrenaline and Endorphin Effect?
- What is Soft Tissue Damage?
- Can You Suffer from Brain Damage After a Car Accident?
- The Importance of Getting Medical Attention After a Car Accident
- What Does the Term “Statute of Limitations” Mean?
- Do I Need to Hire an Attorney If I have Delayed Injuries from a Car Accident?
Your brain tends to produce adrenaline and endorphins after a traumatic event in an effort to protect your body. Then, your brain is rushed with the necessary energy to continue what it needs to do to find a safe haven.
This has the combined effect of blocking any pain that you may be feeling at the time, making it difficult to identify any injuries that you may have suffered. This is similar to athletes who do not even notice their sports injuries until well after their game is finished.
Soft tissue damage is any injury to any part of the body that is not bone, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This sort of damage may not show right away. In some cases, it takes days or even weeks for soft tissue damage to become apparent which is what makes it a big part of a delayed injury from a car accident. Since soft tissue damage does not affect the bones, any damage to soft tissue will be hard to diagnose without any symptoms.
The x-ray diagnosis method for car accidents is used to check for bone damage, and not soft tissue damage. If left untreated, soft tissue damage will become worse and may become untreatable. Hence, it is very important to closely monitor any aches and pains, and go to the doctor as soon as any aches and pains become apparent after a car accident.
The most common soft tissue damage related to car accidents is whiplash. This injury is defined as the sudden forceful motion of your neck moving forward and then being pushed backward by your seatbelt. Some spine and back injuries may also involve some soft tissue damage as well.
Aside for aches and pains, a victim of a car accident may suffer brain damage. As your skull protects your brain, any brain swelling and excessive fluids will not be noticed with the naked eye. Thus, it is important to closely monitor the symptoms, and seek medical assistance once any soft tissue damage or brain damage becomes apparent. Common symptoms of brain damage include:
- Blurred vision;
- Cloudy thinking;
- Lack of balance;
- Inability to concentrate;
- Loss of short-term memory;
- Lack of energy; and/or
- Abnormal sleep patterns.
These types of symptoms may also indicate that the person has suffered a concussion or similar type of condition. This can be very dangerous for the person and can lead to long-term damage or long-term medical conditions.
When you feel any discomfort, it is important to go see a doctor. If you do end up making an insurance claim against the person who caused the car accident, the insurance adjuster will ask to see your medical documentation, including any medical reports from doctors that you have visited following the accident.
Additionally, if you wait too long to see a doctor, your injuries may disappear. Or even worse, your injuries will become aggravated, leading to more pain than you would have otherwise suffered from if you have been treated.
The term “statute of limitations” is simply another way to refer to the filing deadline for an injury claim. When a car accident or other injury incident happens, the injured person will usually only have a certain amount of time to file a legal claim; after that time period passes or closes, the person cannot ever bring a lawsuit.
The statute of limitations for a car accident claim can vary depending on several factors. In most cases, it depends on state law, as each state may have different filing deadlines for car accident injury claims. Generally speaking, the statute of limitations for car accident claims is 1-2 year after the accident. Again, this can vary by state. For instance, in the state of California:
- The statute of limitations for a car accident claim is generally two years. This means that a car accident victim has two years from the time of their accident to file a claim. Once this has passed, they likely can’t file their lawsuit anymore.
- The statute of limitations for a car accident involving a government vehicle is only six months (such as collisions with a city bus, garbage truck, police car, or other government vehicle). This means that the person must file more promptly if the accident involved a government vehicle.
As mentioned, each state may have different filing deadlines and statutes of limitations. Some jurisdictions may begin the statute of limitations period only after the person has discovered their injury. This may vary, so be sure to check with an attorney if you’re unsure of the filing deadline for your particular type of claim.
The main point is to be aware that these filing deadlines exist. This becomes even more important if the person’s injuries are delayed, as that could affect the timing of the statute of limitations being applied. If you wait too long to file, you may miss the filing period.
Before you settle with a car insurance company, you should consult a personal injury attorney to determine whether you are being offered a good settlement. Moreover, an attorney can help you negotiate your settlement. Insurance companies prey on victims who do not know their rights and attempt to settle for a lesser amount.