Many people assume that minor injuries from simple fender benders and other minor car accidents are temporary. The misconception that cuts, scrapes, bruises, or pulled muscles will heal fairly quickly keeps people from pursuing preventative legal measures, such as seeking medical attention and documenting symptoms. However, certain types of muscle and joint injuries may not present any symptoms for weeks, months, or even years. One of the most common of these types of injuries is whiplash, which can occur at speeds as low as five miles per hour. Chronic headaches and arthritis can develop over time with cases of whiplash. Understanding the potential for minor injuries to cause serious, long-term health problems is essential if you’ve been injured in any type of accident.
In the mildest of collisions or sudden stops, a passenger’s body can be jolted forward and backward abruptly. The muscles, ligaments, discs, and tissues of the neck become hyperextended, first in one direction then sharply in the other. This can result in misalignment of vertebrae, muscle tears and strains. Subsequent swelling places pressure on nerves, causing potentially chronic symptoms including:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Shoulder pain
- Back pain
- Concentration issues
- Memory loss or difficulty
- Trouble sleeping
Whiplash is most often diagnosed using CT scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Treatment may include a combination of pain relief medications, physical therapy, traction, massage, ice therapy, and injections.
Lower Body Injuries
The knees, hips pelvis, and back are all susceptible to the jolt of a collision or sudden stop. The knees involve an intricate system of tissues, muscles, cartilage, and bones. Twisting movements can tear any of these attachments. With knees, particularly meniscus tears, healing time can be quite long. Herniated discs in the spine are also commonly a result of sudden, jarring motions and often require major surgery. The hips, pelvis, and low back are also connected through muscles, tendons, and ligaments. For this reason, misalignment can become debilitating over time, causing consistent pain and range of motion issues.
Evidence is the foundation of your claim. At the time of the accident, be sure to mention any aches, pains, or discomfort to insurance adjusters. In addition to vehicle damage, photograph any bruises, cuts, or evidence of physical injury. Do not hesitate to consult your doctor, despite a lack of major injuries or issues. He or she can indicate whether further tests would be beneficial. All of these actions may serve as proof to corroborate the events of the accident.
Statute of Limitations
There is a legal time limit from the moment of the accident to the point at which a lawsuit is filed. It is in your best interest to consult a lawyer to determine your case’s statute of limitations. Once the deadline passes, you may forfeit any legal right to pursue compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, or any other damages.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston injury lawyers servicing clients for over 50 years
The legalities involved in personal injuries can be confusing, especially with delayed symptoms. Insurance companies may dispute your medical claims, creating an uncomfortable and frustrating situation. At Altman & Altman, LLP our seasoned injury attorneys have extensive experience dealing with these kinds of disputes. With a vast knowledge of the law and the necessary resources to help you throughout the claims process, our team is committed to helping you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free consultation.