Sometimes, after a car accident, you immediately know you’re hurt. You might leave the scene in an ambulance or visit emergency care as soon as possible.
In other seemingly “minor” accidents, you may breathe a sigh of relief that the accident didn’t cause any catastrophic injuries and that you escaped with your life.
However, there are grey areas.
Perhaps after you’ve made it home from your accident and the adrenaline has worn off, you notice that you have pain, stiffness, or something just “doesn’t feel right.” What do you do?
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 our “Non-Injury” Car Accident Lawyers now. We are open, for FREE, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-898-4877, or CONTACT online to submit your case for review.
Please note that our law firm does not handle non-injury (property damage only) car accident cases. We can, however, offer assistance as needed to our personal injury clients with their property damage claims.
Keep in mind though, people recently involved in a collision may not realize that they were injured — or they may not feel the extent of their injuries — until hours or even days later. For this reason, we recommend people always get checked out by a medical professional after an accident, just to make sure there aren’t injuries or symptoms lurking in your future.
If you think you may have been injured in a car accident but can’t afford to get checked out, our firm may be able to help get you evaluated at no out-of-pocket cost to you.
One of the biggest battles that we have with insurance companies who are fighting against our clients’ claims is this argument: “Well, your client didn’t seek treatment right away, so they must not have been injured.”
Despite the fact that sometimes injuries don’t appear for hours or days after an accident, and despite the fact that sometimes people just don’t have the money to see a doctor right away, the insurance companies always go back to this point. This is why prompt medical attention is important not only for your health, but for the future of your accident injury claim as well.
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 case.
Reach out now to learn more about how we can help.
Symptoms Can Take Time to Develop
There are many types of injuries you might not notice 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 or the shock and adrenaline rush of the accident have numbed you.
The following injuries can often prove tricky for you to identify yourself after an accident, due to hidden or delayed symptoms:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)—This injury is commonly called the “silent” or “invisible” killer because it is so difficult to identify. For many people, a car accident is a blur. They might not remember hitting their head, or they hit it so hard that they pass out. They may never consider the serious possibility of a TBI. 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 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 TBIs are often immediately apparent, leaving a victim unconscious for some time. 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. In addition, concussion symptoms can gradually worsen during the next few days or weeks, making it 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.
- Soft tissue injuries—A car accident can cause your body to twist or stretch in unusual ways, 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. This should not be dismissed as mere “whiplash.”
Sometimes, a soft tissue injury will present obvious symptoms, especially in the case of a serious tear. Less apparent sprains and strains may begin with only slight pain and no 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 very wrong.
- 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 these aches and pains as “normal” after a crash and expect things to sort themselves out 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 needed to relieve the problem.
- Psychological injuries—Many people ignore the seriousness of psychological injuries that can develop after a car accident. In fact, you may not even consider the possibility that your crash can result in significant psychological damage. However, research shows that nearly 1 out of every 10 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 dismiss 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. Their daily life and relationships can be disrupted.
The above are only some examples of the many injuries that may go undiagnosed after a car accident. Even if you believe you were in a non-injury car accident, see a trusted doctor to make sure you aren’t just missing the signs of your injuries. If you do receive a diagnosis, contact our firm for more information about your legal rights right away.
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, a delayed diagnosis can have detrimental effects on your health and your legal claims.
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 have 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.
Second, not getting a timely diagnosis can affect a legal case in different ways. Once you realize you sustained an injury, you’ll likely want to seek compensation from any negligent parties that caused your accident. It’s only fair! 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 you had plenty of time to get into a different 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. While it’s not impossible to recover compensation in this situation, your attorney may be required to provide more technical and detailed evidence.
You exacerbated the injury as a result of the delay – An insurance company can also claim that your medical bills are much greater due to your neglect of your 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 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 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.
Why Call an 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 only after they’ve already tried to handle the frustrating process themselves. The sad reality is that insurance companies are not here to help. They don’t want to pay out on claims. Instead, these companies try to limit — and even deny — claims whenever possible in order to protect their profit margin.
Even without a delayed diagnosis, you can run into many disappointments and roadblocks with insurance adjusters. They can try to trick you into giving recorded statements they’ll 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.
The team of attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, face these insurance companies head-on, without hesitation. We see right through their tricks and tactics and know how to fight for the payment you truly deserve. We’re 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’s never smart to assume that you weren’t 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 later—instead, get checked out as soon as you can!
After you see a doctor, gather all of the relevant information about your accident and injuries, then reach out to Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers for help. For 20 years, our nationally-recognized car accident attorneys have helped people with many types of injuries and damages from car crashes.
Call our office right now to schedule a free consultation! Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, 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 800-898-4877 or send an email by CLICKING HERE.
Don’t Take Chances. Take Action.
Reach out to us today for a free case evaluation, and learn how to protect your rights.
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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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