Minor auto accidents tend to leave people feeling relieved. It is a common misconception that if you walk away feeling okay, there is no need to pursue any legal or medical follow-up. However, it is surprisingly common for injuries from simple fender benders to manifest days, weeks, or even months later. Even if you feel no initial pain and your vehicle was not seriously damaged, you should report the incident to your insurance company immediately. Knowing what delayed symptoms to be aware of and scheduling a preventative medical exam can provide you with invaluable medical treatment and legal documentation.
Dealing with insurance agencies and doctor’s appointments can be a hassle. Many people choose not to proceed with post-accident protocol. However, following through with these chores after a minor accident is an extremely important step in safeguarding any hidden physical or legal repercussions. The energy you spend on it now can save time and money in the future. Here are some tips:
- Consider hiring an attorney, even if you haven’t yet experienced any physical issues. Personal injury lawyers are trained to understand the insurance landscape. They have extensive experience communicating with insurance companies, and they recognize when a company is undervaluing your claim, or offering less compensation than you may be entitled to. Attorneys will also ensure that the insurance agent is not misinterpreting the law.
- Investigate possible physical signs and symptoms of common car accident injuries. Be hyper-vigilant in recognizing any pain or abnormal sensation in your body. Consult your physician and discuss the need for radiographs to reveal any hidden issues. Take pictures of any superficial bruises or cuts. When speaking with your claims adjuster, always mention even the slightest physical symptoms. Any kind of documentation will provide evidence to protect your legal rights throughout the aftermath of the accident.
- Legislation dictates how much time you have to file a lawsuit after an accident. Understanding this time frame based on your particular circumstances will help you avoid complacency and stay motivated to legally follow through. It is vital to know your statute of limitations. When this period ends, if you neglect to act you will have forfeited your legal rights.
Head and Neck Injuries
Head and neck injuries are well-known for their delayed symptoms. Whiplash is one of the most common physical ailments suffered after a minor accident. The small muscles, tendons, and ligaments connecting the spinal cord to the bones of the head and shoulders are extremely sensitive to overextension. Any unexpected jolt can cause the spine to misalign, resulting in pain, stiffness, or numbness in the neck and shoulders. Headaches emanating from the base of the skull are another symptom of whiplash.
The knee is also susceptible to damage from a simple fender bender. The same issue regarding small and sensitive muscles, tendons, and ligaments makes the mechanics of the knee vulnerable to overextension. A sudden twisting action can cause misalignment of the small bones and cartilage. Another common knee injury is a meniscus tear, which has a particularly extended healing period.
Horn Law – Personal Injury Lawyers
Even a minor accident can lead to chronic pain and overwhelming medical expenses. If you have been involved in any type of motor vehicle accident, Horn Law can examine the details of your case to ensure that your insurance company is not undervaluing your claim. Our attorneys have decades of experience with personal injury litigation. We serve Independence, Kansas City Crown Center, and the Midwest. Contact us today for a free consultation.