Though many injuries, such as broken bones and lacerations, are obvious after a motor vehicle crash, others are not as apparent and may take some time for symptoms to appear. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle collision in Colorado, and experience any pain or symptoms it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to ensure any and all injuries are promptly diagnosed and treated.
While it is often tempting to try to wait several weeks to see if the pain resolves, this can cause a delay in treating sometimes serious injuries. In addition, if you wait too long to seek medical treatment, you may hamper your ability to seek compensation for the injuries and damages that were caused by a crash. If there is a delay in seeking treatment many insurance companies will argue that the accident victim’s injuries are not related to the crash or are not as serious as he or she claims.
Why Do Some Injuries Take Longer to Show Up?
There are a number of reasons why some injuries may not immediately show symptoms at the time of a collision. After being involved in a crash, everyone’s emotions are high and adrenaline is pumping. This flow of adrenaline can mask pain and other symptoms of an injury. After it wears off pain and other symptoms may begin to emerge.
In addition, some injuries have symptoms that are relatively vague. With these injuries, it is easy for the accident victim to attribute the symptoms to some other illness or ailment.
What Are the Most Common Hidden Injuries?
Certain types of hidden injuries are more common than others after a motor vehicle accident.
For example, soft tissue injuries may be difficult to detect in the moments following an accident.
Whiplash, or soft tissue injury to the neck, is a common example of such an injury. A soft tissue injury occurs when the head is thrown forward, then suddenly snapped backward, damaging the muscles in the shoulders, back, and neck. Whiplash injuries are especially common in rear-end collisions.
The soreness from a whiplash injury may not set in until a day or two following a crash. Tendon and ligament injuries, such as sprains and strains, may also develop and become gradually worse in the days following a collision.
Traumatic brain injuries are among the most serious injuries that may take an extended period of time to show symptoms. Many of the signs of a traumatic brain injury, such as headaches, dizziness, and fatigue, are easy to attribute to stress or other illnesses or conditions. Individuals often don’t recognize the signs of a concussion in the immediate aftermath of a collision. This is especially true if they sustained other, more obvious injuries that became the focus of their medical treatment.
Every moment counts with a traumatic brain injury. Waiting to treat a traumatic brain injury may lead to a worse outcome, such as a permanent, debilitating handicap or even death.
Do Not Settle a Claim Too Early
Because many injuries take some time to appear, it is important to wait to settle a claim until you are certain that all of your accident-related injuries have been diagnosed and treated and that you are completely better or have reached maximum medical improvement. This means that your injuries have been properly treated and you are as good as you are going to get.
If you need additional treatment in the future, you should have an estimate of the anticipated costs of the recommended treatment before you settle. Your Colorado personal injury attorney will be able to consult with experts to obtain an estimate of any future medical expenses you will face as a result of injuries you sustained in a collision.
Once you settle a claim, there is no turning back—you will not be able to obtain any extra money from the insurance company for your medical bills and other expenses. If you settle a claim and later find out you need a surgical procedure, you will be responsible for the costs of that procedure.
Experienced Injury Attorneys Can Help
With the help of a Colorado personal injury attorney, injured parties are able to recover money for all damages allowed under Colorado law. Without an attorney, accident victims may not be fully compensated for their injuries.
Colorado personal injury attorney Jennifer Donaldson is experienced in various types of claims, including those that involve hidden injuries. To schedule a free consultation with our firm, contact us today.