Delayed Onset Injuries: What to Do If You Aren’t Obviously Hurt after an Accident

car accident

It’s a common misconception that if someone is hurt from an accident, they will immediately feel its effects. In reality, the injuries one can sustain in an accident aren’t always so apparent. This is true

because a rush of adrenaline, that often follows a traumatic collision, will dulls our sensitivity to pain. Often the onset of injury related pain is delayed for hours and sometimes days. Sometimes, small liagament tears and bone microfractures caused from an accident don’t cause pain until they worsen over time.

This means it can be hours, days, and even weeks for the extent of one’s injuries from an accident to become apparent. Adding to this complexity is the fact that many injuries don’t even involve bodily pain as we commonly understand it. Nerve damage can leave someone with numb or tingling sensations. Someone who has experienced a traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) may experience foggy thought processing, mood swings, difficulty sleeping, and other cognitive ailments.

When an injury becomes apparent sometime after an accident has occurred, it is known as a delayed onset injury. Even if someone is involved in an accident and feels fine, it doesn’t necessarily they are in fact “fine”. They may have been injured and may not know it. Read below to find out what people should do if they aren’t obviously hurt after an accident.

Thoroughly Document the Accident

When people believe they haven’t been seriously injured in an accident, they may prematurely consider themselves lucky and move on with their lives. Regardless of the type of accident or collision that has occurred, victims should thoroughly document everything that happened. Doing so can help them preserve their chances of prevailing in a personal injury lawsuit if injuries begin to appear later.

Here are some tips for documenting an accident:

  • Take photos and videos of the scene;
  • Obtain the names and contact information for all involved parties and witnesses;
  • Collect the insurance information of the other party
  • Call 911 and report the collision and insist that a motor vehicle accident report be prepared
  • Contact your insurance to file a claim (if applicable for the type of accident)

Don’t Talk about Your Injuries or Fault

If you are involved in an accident, don’t answer direct questions about your injuries. State that you are unsure. The person responsible for the accident may be asking in good faith, but avoid saying anything that can be used against you if you pursue a claim.

Avoid discussing any of the following with the other party:

  • How you are feeling.
  • How injured you think you are.
  • Whether or not you think you’ll be in pain later.
  • Your fault (if any) for the accident.

By offering more information than you need to, you may give the other party and their insurance company ammunition to use against your claim.

Schedule a Doctor’s Appointment ASAP

If you were able to walk away from an accident, chances are you didn’t think you needed immediate medical attention to treat your injuries. Even if you didn’t require emergency medical services, you must see a doctor as soon as possible for a full physical. Go to an Urgent Care Clinic and get checked out and avoid the high expense and long lines of a hospital Emergency Room.

When you tell your doctor that you were involved in an accident, he or she may order a series of diagnostics and tests to identify any possible injuries. You may undergo X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs that will help your doctor look for signs of damage to your bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, organs, and other soft tissues.

Going to a doctor is not only important to ensuring you are well, but it demonstrates your taking responsibility to get yourself checked out. By establishing a medical record associated with your accident, you may be protecting your interest in recovering damages for any injuries your doctor may discover.

Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer ASAP

If you believe you were injured in an accident, always reach out to a personal injury attorney for assistance with your claim. Even if you don’t think you’re hurt, starting this process as soon as possible can be beneficial if you need to recover medical costs and other damages that weren’t apparent before.

Daniel T. Pagliarini Attorney at Law offers a free claim evaluation, so you can hear from a professional attorney about how he may be able to help. Rest assured that if you end up requiring legal assistance, he can provide a personalized level of support that takes your unique situation into account and helps you fight for what you deserve.

If you would like to learn more about our services, please get in touch with us online or by calling (808) 400-7248.