Accident Injuries That Don’t Show Up Right Away

accident injuries

Accident Injuries That Don’t Show Up Right Away

What If My Accident Injuries Don’t Show Up Right Away?

Vehicle accident injuries can be late-appearing. Here’s how to protect your health and your legal rights.


Almost any car accident is a traumatic event. From catastrophic collisions to fender-benders, there is a lot of force involved when a vehicle hits (or is hit by) something. Often, when people are in a car accident that seems minor, they do not notice any injury symptoms right away. This happens for a variety of reasons. In this article, we’ll help you understand the importance of monitoring your accident injuries – for your physical well-being and to protect your legal rights.


Car Accidents are Exciting

Not “exciting” in the fun sense, more from a physiological perspective.

Sometimes athletes get injured during a game, and they continue to play without noticing the injury until the game is over. That is because their bodies are generating adrenaline and endorphins. These two chemicals operate to super-charge our bodies and even block pain.

Most car accidents will create a similarly heightened level of excitement. Your body will generate adrenaline and endorphins, which means you feel increased energy and (possibly) a lack of pain. Just because you feel fine immediately following a car accident, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are fine. Once the release of those chemicals subsides, the pain from any car accident injuries could start to set in.


Soft Tissue Injuries After a Car Accident

A soft tissue injury refers to damage done to parts of the body other than bone. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments are considered “soft tissue.”

Car accidents, even low-speed ones, generate a lot of force. Drivers and passengers often come to a sudden stop right along with the vehicle in a car accidents; or they may get thrown around the passenger area. This places a lot of stress on joints and other vulnerable areas of the body.

Perhaps the most common – if not the most recognized – type of soft-tissue injury is “whiplash.” This refers to an injury to the neck muscles when the head is suddenly, and forcefully, thrown forward and then back.

Soft tissue injuries typically result in pain, swelling, and reduced mobility, but these symptoms may not show up immediately. They can take days, even weeks, to manifest. In addition, soft tissue injuries are not visible on an X-ray. This makes them more challenging to diagnose and document. Getting proper medical treatment is the key first step, at or even before the first sign of pain or discomfort (more on this below).


Concussions After a Car Accident

Your brain is well-protected by your skull and the fluid inside of it. However, if you strike your head, or your body is violently jolted, your brain may strike the inside of your skull with great force. If this happens during the course of a car accident, you may sustain a concussion.

Concussions can be very serious, and the symptoms do not often show up immediately. Sometimes the symptoms are obvious (such as disorientation or even loss of consciousness), but they can also be more subtle.

Here is a list of concussion symptoms:

  • clouded thinking
  • inability to concentrate
  • difficulty remembering new information
  • headache
  • blurry vision
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • lack of energy, and
  • abnormal sleep patterns (sleeping more than usual or less than usual)

If you exhibit any of these signs following a car accident, you may have a concussion; and you should seek medical attention.


See a Doctor After a Car Accident

Following a car accident, you should see a doctor if you feel any level of pain and discomfort. It may even be a good idea to get checked out even if you feel fine. Your doctor will be in the best position to determine whether you sustained any serious injuries in the accident. Your doctor can also give you advice on monitoring symptoms of potential accident injuries, including the sorts of red flags to watch out for.

If you end up making any sort of injury claim after the accident, it’s crucial to be able to document the fact that you sought medical treatment within a reasonable amount of time. If you wait too long to see a doctor, the insurance adjuster is going to argue that you couldn’t have been all that injured.


Do Not Settle Right Away

Following a car accident, the other driver’s insurance company may contact you and try to get you to sign a release of any claims you might have. The insurance company may even offer you a sum of money to entice you to sign the release.

You should wait until you have been fully evaluated by a medical professional before signing anything the adjuster puts in front of you. You should also wait long enough to make sure all injuries from the car accident have fully manifested themselves. Your doctor can help you determine how long this needs to be. If you sign a release, and an injury shows up later, you cannot then go back to the insurance company and ask them to pay for your medical treatment. You waive your legal right to pursue that compensation when you sign the release.

If you’ve suffered significant injuries after a car accident, or you just want to make sure the claims process goes smoothly, you may want to talk with an experienced attorney. 


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If you or someone you know was injured in a recent car accident, we welcome you to contact us to see about your treatment options


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car accident police report

Car Accidents: How Police Reports Are Used

Car Accidents: How Police Reports Are Used

We recently ran across this article* online and thought it would be a great share to our blog, especially for those looking for more information after experiencing a car accident.

Car accidents can be scary, especially when there are any injuries to yourself. Most people focus on their vehicles when in reality, they need to take care of themselves and get the medical attention they need.

If you are seeking medical attention due to a car accident, please give us a call here at Eastside Medical Group in Cleveland, and let us help you with our integrated medical services.


Here is all you need to know and understand about the importance of getting a copy of your police report after a car accident

If you’ve been in a car accident where anyone was injured – whether a driver, passenger, or pedestrian – or there was significant damage to one or more vehicles, chances are that an officer from a local law enforcement agency came to the scene.

If and when that happens, it means that the police have conducted at least a cursory investigation of the accident and that a report has been generated in connection with that investigation. That report can come in very handy if any insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit is filed over the accident. 


If you need a copy of your police report, get yours FREE now by calling 1-877-576-7005

Car Accidents and Police Reports

If law enforcement responds to the scene of your accident (and when we say “law enforcement” we’re including local police, county sheriffs, state police, and highway patrol officers), the officers involved in the investigation will write up some sort of report detailing the accident. This is commonly called a “police report.”

If an insurance company gets involved after a car accident – a claim has been made by you or the other driver, for example — you can bet that the adjuster will get his or her hands on the police report. You and/or your attorney can also obtain a copy of the police report by contacting the law enforcement agency that came to the scene and following their protocol.

Usually, these reports are a matter of public record and are available for a small fee (to cover copying, preparation, and mailing). But some police reports might not be available to the public – for example, when a criminal prosecution is involved, or when the reports are confidential in nature for some reason. In that case, the report can usually be obtained through discovery or subpoena (which is the court-backed process for obtaining information once a lawsuit has been filed).


Contents of a Police Report

After a car accident, a police report generated over the incident typically contains the following information:

  • date, time and location of the accident
  • details of the accident, including a diagram of the accident scene (showing the intersection, lanes, position of the vehicles, location of skid marks and debris, etc.)
  • names of all parties and witnesses who were involved in and who observed the accident, including the owners and drivers of vehicles, and any passengers
  • names and addresses of all injured parties (and possibly a summary of their injuries), whether they received medical attention, and whether they were transported to a local hospital
  • description of weather, lighting and road conditions
  • description of property damage sustained, and
  • description of the vehicles involved in the accident.

Note that the report won’t necessarily include the responding officer’s opinions or conclusions about how the accident actually happened, whose action (or inaction) may have been the primary cause of the accident, or whether any driving laws were violated in connection with the accident. Sometimes this kind of information is included in the report, but it’s not universal law enforcement policy.


What if you disagree with something contained in the report?

If you think there are factual inaccuracies, like the date of the accident or the time of day that it occurred, or incorrect identifying information related to the parties or vehicles involved, you may be able to get the report changed or amended. But if you dispute the officer’s findings, or have an issue with a statement from a witness or other driver, you probably can’t get that information altered.

The best you can probably do is ask the law enforcement agency if you can give your own statement, and have it added to the report. There’s no guarantee that the agency will comply with your request, however.


If The Police Don’t Come to The Scene

In larger cities and other areas, even when you call your local law enforcement agency and let them know a car accident occurred, they may not send an officer to the scene unless someone was injured or there was significant vehicle damage.

This is when it becomes that much more important that you conduct your own on-scene investigation and preserve as much evidence as possible of the accident and how it happened. 


Questions for Your Attorney

Police department staff told me I couldn’t get a copy of an accident report. What should I do?
How much weight does the accident report carry in court cases?
My accident occurred in a shopping mall parking lot, and I think the private security guard wrote up a report. How do I get a copy?




If you need a copy of your police report, get yours FREE now by calling 1-877-576-7005

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