Regardless of the severity of car accidents, they will always be traumatic experiences. While severe injuries are usually immediately evident, yours may only manifest over time. Even low-speed rear-end bumper-bashing incidents can cause whiplash that can lead to years of neck or back problems or one of several other delayed car accident injury symptoms. You may want to refuse medical evaluation immediately after a crash because there is no evidence of broken bones or bleeding wounds. However, this could make it much more difficult to include undiagnosed injuries in any personal injury claim that you want to pursue following the wreck.
If you have noticed any of the following signs days after a seemingly minor car accident, a visit to a doctor may be the appropriate step to take:
1. Delayed symptoms of whiplash include:
- Stiffness and pain in the shoulder and neck areas
- Pain in the lower back - rear- and side-impact collisions are known to cause these injuries
- Numbness of the hands and arms can be an indication of damage to the spine or neck
2. Signs that may indicate that you have internal bleeding can present several days after an accident:
- Swelling or pain in the abdomen
- Dark purple bruising to large areas
- Fainting or dizziness
3. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Even if a medical examination shows that you have suffered no physical injuries, the psychological damage can be devastating. It will not be uncommon for you to suffer PTSD, which can cause flashbacks and nightmares about recurring car accidents.
Every one of these delayed symptoms can linger and adversely affect your life. Along with chronic pain and discomfort, the financial impact can be severe. Not only will you have to cope with insurmountable medical expenses, but also with lost wages. These injuries can be debilitating and cause temporary or permanent inability to work.
After a thorough medical evaluation, it may be a good idea for you to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney who can assist in the pursuit of fair compensation. After assessing the circumstances and the damages brought about by the crash, a lawyer can help you establish negligence on the part of the other driver. Your attorney can be your advocate in civil court, and after a successful presentation, the court may award compensation for all of the documented damages you sustained. Your claims may include financial losses such as past and future medical expenses and lost income, along with emotional damages such as pain and suffering and loss of life enjoyment. Your attorney can also ensure timely filing of your civil claim by keeping an eye on the statute of limitations on personal injury claims, which - in Mississippi - is three years.