Sometimes, after a car accident, you immediately know you are injured and need medical attention as soon as possible. In other instances, you may feel instant relief that the accident didn’t cause any catastrophic injuries and that you escaped with your life.
However, there’s an entire spectrum of scenarios in between those two.
What if, after the adrenaline wears off, you notice that you have pain, stiffness, or something just doesn’t feel right? At this point, it is time to seek a medical evaluation and, if you receive a diagnosis of hidden injuries, you should call a car accident lawyer about your rights.
Our legal team at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, is ready to help. We are a national law firm based in Houston with multiple offices around the country. We also work with affiliate law firms in most states that share our focus and dedication to excellence. No matter where you are located, we may be able to help you, so call or contact us now. We are open, for FREE, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 866-936-2201, or CONTACT US NOW by CLICKING HERE to submit your case for review.
Please note that our law firm does not handle non-injury (property damage only) auto accident cases. We can, however, offer assistance as needed to our personal injury clients with their property damage claims.
Never Hesitate to See a Medical Professional
Keep in mind that people recently involved in a collision may not realize that they were injured, or the extent of their injuries, until hours or even days later. For this reason, we always recommend getting checked out by a medical professional after an accident, just to make sure there aren’t injuries or symptoms that may not be obvious at first.
Remember – if you think you may have been injured in a car wreck, but can’t afford to get checked out, our firm may be able to help get you evaluated with NO out-of-pocket cost to you.
One of the biggest battles that we have with insurance companies who are fighting not to pay our clients’ car accident claims is the argument that, “Well, your client didn’t seek treatment right away, so they must not have been injured.” Even though sometimes injuries don’t appear for hours or days after an accident, and even though sometimes people just don’t have the money to see a doctor right away, the insurance companies always cling to this point.
My advice to you – don’t let them. We recommend a medical evaluation as soon as possible after a car accident to avoid nasty surprises down the road with your health and injury claim.
Since establishing our headquarters in Houston, Texas in 1999, our firm has grown to numerous locations across the country, including hubs in Dallas, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. Along the way, we’ve built a trusted network of partners throughout all 50 states who share our values and our commitment to excellence.
No matter where you are, it’s our mission to ensure that you have the finest representation for your auto accident case. We offer a free case review to better serve you after a serious car crash. We can help you through the claims process and safeguard your rights along the way.
Reach out now to learn more about how we can help!
Symptoms Can Take Time to Develop
Many hidden injuries may not make themselves apparent for some time after a crash. You may think that you got away injury-free when in reality, your symptoms just haven’t settled into your body. The following injuries can often prove tricky for you to identify yourself after an accident, due to hidden or delayed symptoms:
1. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)—This injury is commonly called the “silent” or “invisible” injury because it is so difficult to identify. Many people don’t realize that they hit their heads in a car accident, or they didn’t hit their heads at all, so they never consider the possibility of a TBI. Others may only bump their heads but never imagine it was hard enough to damage their brains.
However, a TBI can happen with even the slightest bump of the head—or even without any direct trauma at all. In some cases, a sharp jolt of the head—like whiplash in a car crash—is enough to cause the brain to shift and collide with the inside of the skull, resulting in a TBI.
Severe traumatic brain injuries are often immediately apparent, leaving a victim unconscious for some time. So-called mild TBIs—such as concussions—are often less obvious after a crash. The symptoms of a concussion can include feelings of disorientation, headaches, and fatigue. These are all natural feelings after a car crash, and many victims assume they are simply “out of it” because of the accident, but concussion symptoms can gradually worsen during the next few days or weeks. Due to the delay, it can be difficult to connect those symptoms to a possible crash injury. For these reasons and more, TBIs often go unnoticed after a car accident—making immediate medical attention even more necessary.
Brain injuries are complicated injuries that are different from person to person. It can be difficult to prove all the effects of your injury, so you want to have a highly experienced car accident lawyer if you received this type of diagnosis.
2. Soft tissue injuries—A car accident can cause your body to twist or stretch in unusual ways—often so quickly that you may not even realize it happened. A twisting motion is particularly common since the seat belt is only pulled over one shoulder, often stopping that side of the body while the other side twists forward. This sudden, unnatural motion can damage the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the body.
Sometimes, a soft tissue injury will present obvious symptoms, especially in the case of a serious tear. Less apparent sprains and strains may—at first—result in only slight pain without any other symptoms. It is all too easy to mistake this pain as natural post-accident soreness and expect it to simply go away. Soft tissue injuries in the knees, shoulder, neck, back, and arms may go unnoticed—and thus undiagnosed—for some time. However, during the next few days or weeks, you may notice inflammation, bruising, and other signs that something is wrong.
Sometimes, insurance companies will claim you must have injured yourself in another incident following the accident if you did not seek medical attention right away. Our car accident attorneys know how to argue that you didn’t get help because the onset of symptoms was delayed.
3. Herniated disks—Most people know that neck or back strains commonly result from car accidents. Similar to soft tissue injuries, accident victims may write off the pain as normal after a crash and expect it to resolve itself over the next few days. However, the force of a car accident can cause more damage than you think. Sometimes, a crash can rupture one of your disks—the soft cushions between your vertebrae—causing the interior jelly to push out and irritate the surrounding nerves. This is called a herniated disk, and it can often result in more serious symptoms than a sprain or strain, such as loss of muscle control, muscle weakness, lost sensation, and severe pain.
However, some herniated disks start with no symptoms at all, only to worsen substantially during subsequent weeks or even months. Without a timely diagnosis, the prognosis for an undiagnosed herniated disk can worsen, and more intensive treatments may be required to relieve the problem.
4. Psychological injuries—Many people downplay the seriousness of psychological injuries that can develop after a car wreck. In fact, you may not even consider the possibility that your crash can result in significant psychological damage. However, research shows that more than 9% of car accident survivors develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can result in many adverse symptoms. PTSD can cause nightmares, flashbacks, avoidance of cars, anger issues, and more. You may discount these symptoms as products of stress or other conditions in your life instead of considering a possible evaluation for PTSD. Untreated PTSD, however, can result in anxiety, depression, and intense fear. While all of these conditions are treatable with therapy, medication, and other approaches, sadly, many people fail to receive the remedies they need.
The above are only some examples of many injuries that may go undiagnosed after a car crash. Even if you believe you were in a non-injury car accident, see a trusted doctor to ensure you aren’t missing subtle signs of injury. If you do receive a diagnosis, contact our car accident law firm for more information about your legal rights right away. We have successfully handled car accident cases like yours and can get you the compensation you deserve.
What Happens if You Do Not Get Diagnosed?
Many car accident victims underestimate the effects of a delayed diagnosis of their injuries—or of no diagnosis at all. In fact, different adverse effects can occur for both your health and any subsequent legal claims. Our car accident attorneys have seen the consequences of not getting a diagnosis time and time again.
First, a delayed diagnosis means that your injury will go untreated, which often causes the condition to worsen. Complications may arise when proper treatment would’ve prevented them. For example, a minor fracture may heal easily if you receive the proper medical equipment and follow treatment instructions. However, if you mistake your fracture for a strain that will heal on its own and fail to get a diagnosis or treatment, bone deformities or permanent damage to your muscles, ligaments, or nerves can result.
Next, not getting a timely diagnosis can affect a legal case in different ways. Once you realize you sustained an injury, you likely want to seek compensation from any negligent parties that caused your accident. However, any delay in diagnosing your injuries can cause that party’s insurance company to fight against liability by claiming the following:
Your injury was not the result of the crash in question – If significant time passes between your car accident and your diagnosis, the insurance company can claim plenty of time had elapsed for you to get into a subsequent accident of some sort. The insurer will likely assert that the alleged subsequent “accident” was the actual cause of your injury, so the driver in the initial car accident should not face liability for your medical expenses. This situation does not make recovering compensation impossible, but it can require your attorney to provide more technical and detailed evidence that the crash caused your injuries.
You exacerbated the injury by waiting too long – An insurance company can also claim that your medical bills are much greater due to your neglect of the injury and the delay of diagnosis. The company may argue that you would have required far less extensive—and less costly—care had you gone to the doctor right away and received immediate medical treatment. Therefore, the insurer may try to deny payment for most of your medical costs because you possibly could have avoided them.
Again, while a delayed diagnosis may complicate your car accident claim, it does not automatically bar you from financial recovery. Never let this stop you from contacting an attorney to discuss where to go from here.
Our injury attorneys take on difficult car accident cases, and we can assess whether your claim can be successful with a delayed diagnosis. Contact us for a free case evaluation so we can review what happened and inform you of your legal options.
Why Call a Houston Car Accident Attorney?
You may think that getting compensation after a car accident is as simple as filing an insurance claim and receiving a check, however it is rarely this easy. Many car accident victims come to us for help after they have already tried to handle the process themselves—only to be disappointed. The sad reality is that insurance companies are NOT in business to pay out on every claim. Instead, these companies try to limit claims—and even deny them—whenever they can. They do this to protect their profit margin.
Even without a delayed diagnosis, you can run into many roadblocks with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. They can try to trick you into giving recorded statements that they later use against you. They may try to downplay your claim to get you to accept a lower settlement. They will act like you can trust them—but believe us, you CANNOT trust them to work in your best interest. Believing you were in a non-injury accident and then having a delayed diagnosis can only make this process harder.
Insurance providers are notoriously skeptical of injury accident claims that come too long after the accident. They may refuse to believe that your injuries were caused by the motor vehicle crash at all. This may make them difficult to deal with, and you might not get the amount of money you need to pay for medical costs and lost wages.
When this occurs, an experienced car accident attorney can help you determine who the at fault party is and hold them accountable for their negligence. This may include performing a serious investigation and gathering evidence to build your case, such as the police report, medical records, and expert testimony.
The team of personal injury attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, tackle these insurance adjusters and their companies head-on, without hesitation. We see right through their tricks and tactics, and we know how to fight for the payment you truly deserve. Our Houston car accident attorneys are not afraid to take your claim to court if needed, and we will always strive for the best possible outcome after your crash.
Contact Our Law Firm after Your Car Accident
While non-injury car accidents do happen, it is never safe to assume that you were not injured. It takes the analysis of a medical professional and diagnostic testing to reveal your injuries in the hours or days following your crash. Do not wait for your injuries or symptoms to manifest during the next weeks or months—instead, get checked out as soon as you can!
After you take the time to see a doctor, gather all of the relevant information possible about your accident and injuries, then reach out to the law office of Stewart J. Guss for help. For over 20 years, our nationally recognized personal injury lawyers have helped people with many types of serious injuries and damages from car crashes.
Call our office right now to schedule a free consultation! We take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, so you will not owe us a DIME unless we win your case. We are available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, so call us today at 866-936-2201 or send an email by CLICKING HERE.
Our auto accident attorney is here to help you – no matter how minor you believe your injuries to be.
Don’t Take Chances – Let Us Help You!
See what past clients have to say:
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“As a relatively new resident of Houston, I did not know of an attorney to contact for a personal injury suit. I randomly went through the yellow pages contacting two attorneys that had rejected my case prior to me contacting Stewart Guss. Stewart took my case on and settled for far more than I had anticipated. The silver lining of this is that I will now have enough money to go back to school for retraining, so I will be able to reenter the workforce in a new capacity. The paralegal, Angela, was kind and supportive throughout the process. If I did not understand the legal jargon, I did not hesitate to ask, and was never once made to feel that I was incompetent. Thank you Stewart and Angela for giving me a new lease on live.”
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Since starting his firm in 1999, Stewart J. Guss has had the honor of representing clients from all over the world, helping them recover from even the most catastrophic injuries.
Today, thanks to a strong belief in those values of compassion, respect, and approachability, the firm has grown to employ over 120 legal professionals in numerous offices across 4 states, with nationwide reach.