In a recent four-car crash in Pembroke Pines, a man lost control of his vehicle and crashed into three other cars. One of the drivers of the three cars refused medical treatment. The other passengers and drivers in the accident all visited the hospital, even the ones with non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver who refused medical treatment took a risk for two reasons.
- One, Florida law states that you must visit a doctor within 14 days of an accident to file an injury claim and get help paying for any medical bills that might result.
- Two, many injuries from auto accidents don’t show up right away. However, these types of injuries can have long-lasting effects that may create significant medical bills and other damages.
If you were injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you need to protect your interests by visiting the doctor. Even if it’s only to rule out serious injuries, it’s worth your time to seek medical care.
What kind of symptoms might you notice that could indicate a crash-related injury?
Your lower back often absorbs much of the force in an auto accident. However, just like you don’t feel pain until a day or two after a tough workout, you may not feel back pain on the day of the accident. Over half of rear-end collisions and over 60 percent of side-impact crashes result in back pain.
Pain or Stiffness in Neck or Shoulders
Whiplash is a common injury in auto accidents – and it may not show up for weeks. It often occurs in low-speed, rear-collision accidents. Whiplash happens when the neck suddenly whips forward and quickly moves back into place. All four stages of whiplash cause injury to the soft tissues in the neck and shoulders and possibly the vertebrae.
Numbness or Tingling in Extremities
If you experience these sensations in your arms or hands, you may have experienced whiplash. If you feel any loss of sensation in your lower extremities, you may have spinal damage, which requires immediate medical treatment.
Swelling or Bruising
These may be signs of internal bleeding, which can be life-threatening. Seek medical attention right away to rule out significant problems.
Disorganized Thoughts or Memory Issues
These symptoms can be related to a concussion. Auto accidents are common causes of brain injury, and you should seek treatment if you have fuzzy thinking.
Headaches are often a sign of damage linked to concussion or whiplash, and you should see a doctor if you’ve experienced headaches since the accident.
If you are sleeping more often or less often than usual or experiencing nightmares, these can indicate post-traumatic stress disorder or a concussion.
Don’t Wait for Symptoms to Get Medical Help
While you should absolutely get yourself to a doctor if you do notice any of the above symptoms, remember that often there are no symptoms. The absolute best thing you can do after an accident is to have a medical professional check you out regardless of how you’re feeling. We like to think that we know our bodies best, but most of the time trained doctors are far better at noticing issues than we are.
If the doctor does notice some kind of issue, do not hesitate to reach out to our office. Set up a free initial consultation and we can go over what happened to you to let you know if it seems like you have a valid case and what options are available to you.
About the Author:
Since 1994, seasoned litigation and trial lawyer Anthony B. White has helped thousands of accident victims seek damages due to injuries sustained as a result of another party’s negligence. Included in America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals and selected to the 2012, 2013, and 2014 editions of Florida Super Lawyers, Mr. White specializes in car accidents, insurance disputes, wrongful death, product liability, and medical malpractice cases. He is a longstanding member of the Florida Justice Association and the American Association for Justice and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Broward County Justice Association.