Being in a car accident is a stressful and frustrating experience under the best of circumstances. Anyone involved in a crash could understandably be in a rush to put the experience in the mirror as quickly as possible. Pennsylvania residents should exercise patience before signing any settlement documents related to potential injury claims even if they feel fine right after the incident. Some potentially serious injuries do not make themselves obvious in the immediate aftermath of a wreck and can take weeks to properly diagnose.
Just as it is common to feel pain the day after working in the yard or garden, the morning after a car wreck can be the first indicator of injury. Often people delay getting treatment for their injuries and assume they will get better with time and rest. Some injuries go undetected because of other distractions until days or even weeks after a wreck. For example, a painful bruise can draw attention from a muscle tear that is not recognized until the bruise fades while pain persists. A whiplash injury usually requires conservative treatment for at least six weeks. If symptoms continue past that point, it can be an indicator of a more serious injury requiring more aggressive treatment protocols.
A blow to the head, blood clots or cervical injuries can cause trauma-related headaches that do not always immediately manifest after a crash. Stiffness and neck and shoulder pain are classic signs of a whiplash injury. Symptoms can be delayed and require radiology exams to pinpoint the diagnosis. Back pain is often delayed or masked by other symptoms. The stretching of muscles and ligaments is a common problem after a wreck, and spinal injuries are also possible.
Although it may be tempting to quickly settle an insurance claim after a car accident, it is prudent to make sure the full extent of damages are known. Consulting a qualified injury lawyer can help claimants protect themselves and their families after a crash.