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Dealing with delayed injuries after an accident

Your accident was minor, the car sustaining only a small dent. In the adrenaline rush immediately afterward, you did not feel any pain yourself.

The pain may come days or even weeks later. You may not realize what is causing your discomfort at first. Then you remember your “minor” accident.

What are delayed injuries that you can experience?

Delayed injuries sneak up on you, worsening from a small ache to serious pain. Symptoms often overlap, making diagnosis difficult.

Headaches can be a sign of a concussion or other brain injury, whiplash or other neck injury or a blood clot. Whiplash is another common cause of neck and shoulder pain, as well as back injuries.

Other delayed back injuries include sprains, herniated discs and muscle injuries. Pinched nerves in the back can cause tingling and numbness in your extremities.

Abdominal pain can mean internal injuries, including internal bleeding. Soft-tissue injuries are often not obvious but can be fatal. Headaches, dizziness and deep bruising are among the symptoms.

Emotional pain and suffering present special challenges because they are invisible. Yet they are real, resulting in depression and other serious issues.

What should you do about a delayed injury?

You need evidence to prove your injuries are a result of your accident. That is why you should always see a doctor following an accident. Document all your injuries, no matter how small. A medical report is invaluable if serious symptoms develop later.

Someone may ask you to sign a release of liability form after your accident. Do not sign anything until you are 100% recovered from the crash and any lingering pains. You could be signing away your rights to compensation for delayed injuries.

How can you prove a delayed injury?

Connecting your pain to your accident can be difficult. You are dealing both with an injury and doubts about its origin. You may feel your integrity is under question. However, with medical records you can build a case that preserves your rights.