When you’re involved in a car accident, you’ve experienced a traumatic event. The problem is that your body might not know it right away. See a doctor as soon as you can after the accident has occurred, and then contact a Huntsville car accident lawyer about your case. Survival instincts and “fight or flight” responses diminish awareness of bodily injury until after the fact, sometimes only after a significant amount of time has passed. That’s why you should never dismiss the possibility of injury right after an accident has occurred.
Why Aren’t Some Car Accident Injuries Apparent Immediately?
The following are just three reasons why car accident injuries may not appear immediately:
- “Fight or flight” response. During a traumatic event like a car accident, your body and mind instantly kick into survival mode. Your body utilizes your innate “fight or flight” response, pulling together its resources to keep you focused. At the same time, it necessarily blunts distractions like pain that might hinder your ability to handle the crisis and remove yourself from danger. For our ancient ancestors, the crisis might have been running away from a saber-toothed tiger. For you, it’s a car accident, which a Huntsville car accident attorney can help you with.
- Even “low speed” crashes can cause injury. A fender bender at five miles an hour can’t cause significant injury, can it? Low impact crashes can still cause soft tissue injury. “Soft tissue” refers to anything that’s not bone, and includes ligaments, tendons and muscles. Car accidents generate significant force even at low speeds. When your vehicle “stops hard” or stops suddenly on impact, your body keeps moving. If you’re wearing a seat belt or other restraint, you are prevented from coming out of your seat, but your body still moves violently against the restraint during the crash. The resulting stress on joints and other delicate areas of the body can still cause significant injury.
- Soft tissue injuries can take days or weeks to appear. Soft tissue injuries are common in car crashes; the most common of these is whiplash. In this, the head is thrown violently back and forth during impact, injuring the neck muscles. Because soft tissue injuries don’t show up on X-rays, they often aren’t immediately diagnosed, and the symptoms of injury can take days or weeks to appear.
Some symptoms of soft tissue injuries include:
- Pain that gets worse with movement;
- Redness, bruising in the area; and,
- Loss of mobility, function, and/or weakness in the area
What Should You Do Right After an Accident?
See a doctor. See a doctor right after the accident, even if you don’t think you need to. He or she can begin to diagnose and document injuries, even if you don’t feel them yet. You can get treated right away, and doing so can also provide evidence for your case.
DON’T settle or sign a release. The other driver’s insurance company might try to get you to settle or sign a release waiving your right to sue immediately after the accident. Don’t. Injuries (or their extent) not be apparent yet. If you settle or waive your right to sue, you’re out of luck once injury symptoms appear.
Contact a Huntsville car accident lawyer. You’ll need a Huntsville car accident attorney to represent you during negotiations so that you’re compensated fairly for any injuries you may sustain.
In an Accident? A Huntsville Car Accident Lawyer Can Help!
Call us at (256) 533-5000 to speak to an experienced Huntsville car accident attorney right away. Don’t wait! Our office hours are 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, but we are available 24/7 to take your call.