Car accidents are common on San Diego roads, and these crashes range in severity from minor rear-end collisions to fatal rollovers. While some injuries after a car accident appear right away, such as broken bones and burns, others do not appear until hours or even days later.
Delayed accident injuries require the same level of treatment and care that more obvious injuries do, but they can be easy to ignore immediately after an accident. Failure to seek prompt medical attention can harm a victim’s chances at fair compensation — and if you are in a car crash, it is important to keep these common injuries in mind.
#1: Soft Tissue Injuries
A soft tissue injury involves any damage to your muscles, tendons, or ligaments. These injuries can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty moving, but these symptoms may not appear for days or even weeks after a crash. All car accidents, even minor crashes, cause significant force. During an accident, this force can throw vulnerable areas of the body into unnatural, sudden positions, leading to injuries like whiplash or torn tendons.
Soft tissue injuries do not show up on an X-ray, which can make them difficult to diagnose. Many insurance companies can deny these injury claims based on a lack of evidence, so it is important to receive prompt medical treatment to preserve your credibility.
#2: Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, are some of the most dangerous injuries you can develop, but they are not always obvious. During a car accident, your brain can strike the inside of your skull or you can hit your head against an object inside of the vehicle. As a result, you can develop bleeding, bruising, or swelling in the brain. Without prompt medical attention, these injuries can be fatal.
If you experience any of the following symptoms after an accident, go to the hospital immediately.
- Inability to concentrate
- Inability to think clearly
- Blurred vision
- Sudden changes in behavior
#3: Internal Bleeding
Although you may not have any external injuries, you can sustain organ damage that can result in internal bleeding during a car accident. You may not develop symptoms for hours or even days after the accident. If you experience unexplained pain in your abdomen, dizziness, and bruising, you may have internal bleeding. Internal bleeding can be fatal, and it is important to seek medical attention immediately after the crash to treat these injuries before it is too late.
What to Do After a California Car Accident
After a car accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you do not feel injured. Delayed accident injuries can appear in the days following your crash, but if you admit you do not feel hurt or you do not go to the doctor in a timely manner, the insurance company can use these facts as justification to deny or lower your settlement.
Take the following steps after the accident to protect your future claim.
- Call 911 immediately and report the accident to law enforcement.
- Seek medical attention and save all records related to your crash.
- Take photographs of your injuries, damage to all vehicles, and the accident site.
- Collect license, insurance, and contact information from the at-fault driver.
- Ask any witnesses in the area for their contact information.
- Do not admit anything about your injuries or how the crash occurred until you speak to a lawyer.
To protect your right to compensation, go to the hospital immediately after the accident. Once you seek medical attention, contact your lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your crash and begin filing your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.