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What If My Injuries Don’t Show Immediately After the Car Crash?

The human body is a wonderful thing. It’s designed to help you go through immense stress and pain, maximizing your chances of survival in extreme situations.

delayed injury after car accident

A car crash, for instance, will cause your body to release adrenaline and endorphins, two chemicals that supercharge the brain, making you alert and ready to react to dangerous factors. The problem is that these chemicals can also block pain.

It’s not unusual for car accident victims to think that they are fine only to discover a few days or weeks later that their bodies were, in fact, hurt during the collision. What can you do if that happens? Can you still file a claim if your injuries don’t show right after the car crash?

Types of Injuries That Don’t Show Right Away

We can’t stress this enough: go see a doctor even if the accident was minor and you are feeling perfectly fine.

Car accidents, even minor fender benders, generate a lot of force. Your body is being pushed, pulled, and thrown away, and that can put immense stress on your joints, bones, and soft tissue.

Here are some of the most common types of injuries that take time to show the first symptoms:

Soft Tissue Injuries: these types of injuries can take up to a few months to show the first signs and more often it’s difficult for the victim to link them to the car accident. They typically manifest as pain, limited mobility, and swelling, symptoms that can linger on for a very long time if left untreated. The problem with soft tissue injuries is that they don’t show up on X-rays, making them difficult to diagnose and treat.

Traumatic Brain Injuries: the force of the collision can cause your brain to hit the inside of your skull forcefully. However, the symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) don’t always show immediately, and they can be quite subtle. Irritability, the inability to concentrate, clouded thinking, blurred vision, disrupted sleeping patterns, and lack of energy are among the signs that you should pay attention to.

Don’t Settle Immediately

You probably want to put this event behind you as soon as possible, but acting hastily can affect the value of your claim. This is a time when you should consider every decision carefully and take your time to discuss every step with an experienced attorney.

The insurance company of the other driver will probably contact you immediately after the accident and offer you something that looks like a considerable sum of money. Don’t sign anything until you are checked by a medical professional and have a list of all the injuries you suffered because of the collision. In fact, it would be a good idea to wait for a few weeks just to make sure that all potential injuries have shown their signs. If you sign something now, and you discover later that you have a TBI, for instance, you won’t receive compensation for it.

Work With an Experienced Lawyer

A good St. Louis car accident attorney knows all these subtleties and can advise you on how to best proceed so that you receive the full amount of compensation you are legal entitled to. Get in touch with one as soon as possible. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE case evaluation.

Updated: January 18, 2023