The real story about delayed injuries sustained in auto accidents

It was just a little fender-bender. You're a little shaken, a little shocked even, but you feel physically fine. Honestly, you just want the whole ordeal behind you so you sign the quick settlement offer, get your car fixed and move on.

Except for that nagging pain in your back. And, well, then the headaches start, and you can't attribute them to stress or allergies anymore. It's easy to dismiss physical injuries sustained in a minor fender-bender, but many people don't realize is that things can be worse than they seem.

Internal injuries may not be visible or even present as problems until weeks after an accident. While it is appealing to wrap up an auto accident as quickly as possible, it may not be in your best interest long-term.

When dealing with the repercussions of an auto accident, it is important to look out for your physical well being as much as the condition of your car. Even the healthiest, most physically fit person can be injured in a minor collision.

Look for some of these signs and symptoms that can present several weeks' post-accident:

  • Headaches, though common after accidents, can indicate a significant underlying condition including a concussion or blood clot.
  • Numbness in extremities and/or neck/shoulder pain or stiffness can mean whiplash, and remains one of the most common injuries with delayed presentation. Whiplash injuries, for example, generally occur in low impact collisions - at speeds less than 14mph!
  • Back pain should never be disregarded. Muscles, ligaments, nerves, and vertebrae are all susceptible to injury no matter how fit you are and can lead to long-term difficulties if untreated.
  • Abdominal pain or swelling may not present for days after an accident but could mean you have internal bleeding. It can be accompanied by dizziness, bruising, or fainting. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you need to seek medical attention immediately.
  • Changes in personality or physical abilities is sometimes indicative of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and can present as impaired memory/thought processes, movement, vision or hearing difficulties, depression or other personality changes. TBIs remain the second leading cause of death in auto accidents.
  • PTSD is relatively common following an auto accident, especially in children. From vivid memories to nightmares, the symptoms of PTSD vary but require patience and treatment just the same.

Are you prepared to pay - physically, mentally, emotionally and financially - for the treatment of these injuries instead of the responsible party? Signing a quick settlement to get your car fixed right away may not be in your best interest if you consider what settling now may mean for your life weeks and months after the accident.

The Keating Firm LTD is available to help individuals dealing with auto accidents and accident-related injuries. Visit the car accidents pages on our website to learn more about how we help our clients get paid by insurance companies.

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