If you feel fine immediately after a car accident, it might be tempting to simply brush off the incident as bad luck and continue with your day. However, many symptoms of injury may not appear until a later date. It's important to be evaluated by a medical professional as a precautionary measure.
Late Physical Effects of a Car Accident
When the body is faced with any sudden and unexpected event, a rush of adrenaline is released. This can temporarily mask symptoms that could indicate an injury. But in the days or weeks following a car accident, you might notice symptoms such as:
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Back pain
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle stiffness
- Slowed reflexes
- Limited range of motion
- Vomiting or nausea
- Visual disturbances
- Confusion and disorientation
- Numbness or tingling in limbs
These symptoms may seem minor on their own, but they may not heal with rest and the passage of time. After a car accident, experiencing one or more of these symptoms could indicate complications such as a concussion, whiplash, back injury, or a blood clot.
Keep in mind that while car accident injuries are most often associated with high speed collisions, even a seemingly minor parking lot accident can potentially create problems.
Late Emotional Effects of a Car Accident
A car accident can cause emotional trauma as well as physical injuries. In the days or weeks that follow the accident, you might experience:
- Trouble sleeping
- Angry outbursts
- Sudden crying
- Flashbacks to the accident itself
In addition to physical symptoms, a concussion can cause emotional problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A condition that is most commonly associated with military service, PTSD can appear after exposure to any trauma. Women, children, and people with a family history of mental disorders are most vulnerable to developing PTSD after an auto accident.
Seeking Medical Care After a Car Accident
After any car accident, it's important to seek immediate medical attention. Even if you feel fine at first, your doctor may notice abnormal test results that indicate a problem. You also want to create a paper trail in case you experience additional symptoms at a later date, so the other driver's insurance company can't argue that your injuries were caused by something else.
In the days and weeks following the accident, be alert for anything that seems out of the ordinary. If you notice anything unusual, return to your doctor for a follow-up visit. Your symptoms may turn out to be nothing, but it's always better to address any issue early on.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
A personal injury claim can include compensation for a variety of accident-related expenses, including:
- Medical care, including anticipated future medical expenses if you're left permanently disabled
- Loss of wages, including applicable loss of future earning potential
- Pain and suffering, including the emotional trauma of the accident
You can receive compensation even if you're partially at fault for the accident, although your settlement will be reduced by your assigned percentage of fault. For example, if you were normally eligible to receive $200,000 and determined to be 50% at fault for the accident, you'd only receive $100,000 as compensation for the other driver's liability for your injuries.
Retaining legal representation is the best way to ensure that your case proceeds in a timely fashion. Your attorney can communicate with the other driver's insurance company, collect documentation to verify the extent of your injuries, and line up any applicable expert witnesses to testify on your behalf.
The attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault are committed to helping Louisiana residents who've suffered auto accident injuries receive the compensation they need to move forward with their lives. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.