Many people consider car accidents to be especially harrowing events in and of themselves, and rightfully so. Typically a rather safe mode of transportation, the last thing one might expect is to find yourself injured anywhere on a spectrum from mild soreness all the way to potentially deadly trauma. For those of us who get to walk away from a car accident, we must consider ourselves lucky.
However, injuries that we suffer from car-related accidents can be tricky to gauge or even identify. Unless they are obvious and unmistakable, the long-term impact of some injuries can creep up on us, often without much warning whatsoever. After the initial shock of the event has worn off and the body has returned to a baseline state, people have often reported headaches or pain in the neck or back. Unfortunately, many disregard these pains as minor aches that will recede with a little downtime and pampering or self-medication, often with over-the-counter pain or anti-inflammatory medication.
The reality in many of those circumstances is that the body has suffered a soft-tissue injury, most commonly in the form of whiplash or a concussion, and the problems posed by these injuries don’t go away with a little bit of Ibuprofen. In more severe cases, the aftereffects of these injuries can be permanent and life-changing. Concussions, while responsible for many symptoms such as dizziness and nausea, may have long-lasting effects such as changes in behavioral patterns and episodes of irritability, anxiety or depression. Some concussions of great enough severity have even been known to cause post-traumatic epileptic disorders in some patients. Whiplash can make the most basic of tasks exceedingly difficult if not properly treated, and some people are unable to maintain their jobs due to the pain caused by the symptoms that follow.
What does this mean from a legal perspective? Many insurance companies will approach plaintiffs to settle quickly after a claim has been filed against them. While this is certainly helpful for any immediate medical needs the patient may face, this also acts as a double-edged sword. Settling sooner rather than later and signing a release can effectively free an insurance company or their client from any legal obligation should more problems arise down the road. And issues such as whiplash or concussions can have long-standing symptoms that are slow to surface, resulting in a multitude of potentially unforeseen medical expenses that the patient may have essentially excused an at-fault driver or their representative insurance company of any liability.
In many states, filing a claim must be done under a certain period of time according to a statute of limitations. This statute will vary from state to state, so it’s important to know exactly how long you have to file a claim. Being able to assess the full extent of physical and emotional damages to which you might be entitled as the result of a car accident is important. Make sure to discuss options and ways to proceed with your personal injury attorney, giving as much attention to the future as possible.
The important thing to understand about a car accident is the long-term impact it could have in your life. It’s understandable that people generally want to get past such horrible events and move on with their lives as quickly as possible, often settling a case to tend to their immediate needs and to put the entire ordeal behind themselves. However, being aware of the changes that could very well occur unexpectedly due to trauma suffered in a car accident might just be the difference between making as full a medical recovery as possible or suffering from unwanted physical and emotional challenges for the rest of your life.
About The Author: Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y Law Firm. Yosi is an inspired, aggressive and successful advocate for his clients, especially those who have suffered from car accident injuries. He is personally committed to making a difference in his clients’ lives. Nothing makes Yosi happier than getting his clients’ lives back on track.