Car Accident Injuries Hiding In Plain Sight
After an auto accident, the most severe injuries get the highest priority for treatment, as one might imagine. However, it is not uncommon for some injuries to only become apparent days or even weeks after your accident, and if they are not given the proper treatment, these conditions can lead to chronic pain and long-term problems that can be extremely expensive to manage. It is important that you seek compensation for all your injuries when you have the chance.
Physical Injuries May Appear Later
Numerous types of injuries can be undetectable for some time after an auto accident, both physical and psychological. Many of the physical injuries involve injury to the soft tissue, such as in the neck or back, because soft tissue may not immediately respond to trauma. Bones will break immediately if there is enough force to break them; soft tissue can stretch, but when the force is removed, it may remain stretched and swollen. This is part of what happens when whiplash occurs – the cervical spine and the tissue around it flex and stretch over a period of hours or days. That stress on the spine can lead to severe neck and shoulder pain, concussions, pinched nerves, and other symptoms.
Another common auto accident injury is a concussion or other brain injury, caused by a blow or blows to the head. Concussions can happen as a result of the same type of blow that yields soft tissue injuries, just in a different area of your body. The force of an auto accident can cause a sharp blow to the head, which can result in a concussion or even a more serious type of traumatic brain injury (statistics from the Centers for Disease Control estimate that as much as 20 percent of all TBI-related hospitalizations were due to car crashes – vehicle accidents can do that much damage).
The Possibility Of PTSD Is Real
In addition to the physical injuries that may appear long after your vehicle accidents, psychological conditions or trauma-related problems are extremely common after car crashes, especially severe ones. It is perhaps understandable that a person might develop post-traumatic stress or full-blown PTSD after a frightening and painful situation like a vehicle crash, but it certainly does not happen for everyone. PTSD in particular may not present itself until months or weeks after the accident, while the brain tries to readjust to what has happened.
Currently, as of this writing, PTSD is considered a qualifying injury in a personal injury case, so if you are able to establish a valid PTSD diagnosis, it can be considered when assessing damages and liability. Be advised, however, that establishing your PTSD will generally require expert medical testimony – the criteria to show that someone has PTSD are not well known to the average person, so Florida law recommends the use of a medical expert witness who can make the information clear to a jury.
Can A Tampa Auto Accident Lawyer Help You?
Any car accident can lead to serious injuries, but if you do not become aware of an injury until far after the accident, you run the risk of not obtaining proper treatment. If you have questions or concerns about invisible injuries, or injuries that have made themselves known long after the fact, calling a Tampa car accident lawyer can be an enormous help. The Rinaldo Law Group has years of experience in these cases and will work hard for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.