Injuries from a car accident may not appear until weeks after the accident. The insurance company may try to deny a claim for delayed car accident injuries on the basis that the injuries didn’t present immediately and may not be a result of the accident. Having an experienced personal injury attorney in New York on your side can help you pursue compensation for your injuries.
An attorney knows the possible injuries that could appear later after an accident and how to seek compensation for medical treatment for delayed car accident injuries.
Signs You Could Have Injuries from a Car Accident
According to the New York State Department of Health, there are over 12,000 hospitalizations every year due to motor vehicle traffic-related injuries.
The most common types of delayed car accident injuries are concussions, soft tissue injuries, and back injuries. These injuries can be severe, yet accident victims may not feel pain for days, weeks, or months after an accident. According to the Mayo Clinic, vehicle accidents cause nearly half of all spine injuries annually.
Some signs that you may have a serious injury after an accident include:
- Back pain, which could indicate vertebral or intra-vertebral injuries
- Abdominal pain, which may indicate internal bleeding
- Shoulder pain, which could stem from neck injuries like whiplash
- Numbness or tingling in the extremities, which could indicate nerve damage in the spine
- Headaches or memory loss, which could stem from a concussion, whiplash, or blood clot
- Interruptions to normal hearing or vision that could indicate a concussion or other traumatic brain injury
Adrenaline can dull pain when in “fight or flight” according to Cleveland Clinic. Because pain may not appear immediately after an accident, you should always have a thorough examination from a doctor following an accident.
You Can Seek Compensation for Delayed Car Accident Injuries in New York
In New York, you must report the accident to the DMV within ten days. You must file an insurance claim within 30 days. In most cases, you have up to three years to file a personal injury claim in court.
According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT), 4.4 million people suffer injuries from car accidents in the U.S. each year serious enough to warrant medical attention. A doctor can order the appropriate scans to look for soft tissue damage, even if you feel fine after an accident. If you begin feeling pain later, you may need those scans in order to file a claim with your insurance company.
By having MRIs and x-rays from immediately after the accident, you can file the appropriate claims for your delayed car accident injuries even before you feel pain if your doctor notices injuries that weren’t present in previous scans in your medical file. For example, your doctor may notice a bulging disc between two vertebrae that you didn’t have before the accident.
Even if you’re only in a minor accident and everyone seems fine, you should still go for a full evaluation by your doctor to ensure that you didn’t suffer any injuries or that any pain you feel doesn’t indicate a more severe injury.
Mental and Emotional Health After an Accident
Car accidents are not just physically traumatic but also mentally and emotionally traumatic. While some people can process the events of a car accident without suffering any ill effects on their mental state, others may have a more difficult time moving ahead after a crash. Some common signs of mental and emotional trauma after a car accident include:
- Nightmares or disruptive sleep
- Depression, anxiety, or both
- Trouble focusing on tasks
- Change in behavior or appetite
- Emotional outbursts
- Driving-related phobias
While head injuries can lead to some mental, emotional, or behavioral changes, you may experience any of these symptoms without sustaining a physical injury. These symptoms can indicate post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a serious traumatic event like a car accident.
If you show signs of impaired mental health or emotional distress after a car accident, a New York personal injury attorney can help you determine what kinds of damages you can pursue for your pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, and even loss of consortium if your altered mental health affected your marriage.
Never Sign a Release of Liability Form from an Insurance Company
Shortly after the accident, an insurance adjuster representing the negligent driver’s insurance company will reach out to confirm that you’re alright after an accident. Even if you believe that you didn’t suffer any injuries from the accident, never tell them that you don’t have any injuries.
Instead, tell them that you’ve retained a New York auto accident lawyer to manage your case. Collect the adjuster’s information and have your attorney call them to answer their questions.
If you have not hired an attorney yet, the insurance adjuster may pressure you to sign a release of claim. By signing this document, you give up your right to pursue compensation against the negligent driver and their insurance company later if you discover delayed car accident injuries.
How to Find a New York Personal Injury Attorney for Your Case
Even if you don’t have any injuries immediately after an accident, you should seek to retain an experienced New York car accident lawyer to help you navigate filing an insurance claim for property damage to your vehicle.
Your attorney can also help you file a claim for the costs of testing, including MRIs, CT scans, x-rays, and bloodwork. A knowledgeable attorney can help you manage the claim to have your insurance company cover the costs.
At Sattler Law Group, P.C., we have served injured victims of car accidents since 1993. We know what it takes to fight the insurance companies and have won millions of dollars for our clients in personal injury cases.
Turn to Sattler Law Group, P.C., for a New York Auto Accident Lawyer
Delayed car accident injuries are common, but with the right documentation and an experienced attorney, you can seek compensation for your injuries. Check out our blog for our guide to New York car accident laws.
Call us at the Sattler Law Group, P.C., at 914-239-4900 or contact us online for a free consultation for your delayed car accident injuries case.