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What If My Car Accident Injuries Don’t Show Up Right Away?

Posted by Inna Gorin | Jan 30, 2018

Just about any car accident in Los Angeles County is a traumatic event. From simple minor fender-benders to serious auto collisions, force is involved when your car is struck by another vehicle. Yes, even minor fender benders can cause injuries, especially rear-end collisions.

Car Accident Injuries

It's a fact that any collision that involves a motor vehicle will result in some physical force being exerted on the bodies of everyone riding in the car.

This force from the collision can cause injuries to the human body in various ways, even though they don't reveal themselves immediately after impact.

In many car accident cases, you may not even notice any injury symptoms right away. Just because you don't feel hurt immediately after a traffic accident does not mean you haven't been injured.

There are a wide variety of reasons why this happens. Still, you must monitor your injuries after a car accident for your physical well-being and preserve your legal rights to compensation. 

After a car accident, your top priority should be recovery from your injuries. What exactly your recovery may entail will depend on the nature and extent of the injuries you have sustained. Every car accident and the victims are different.

Typically, your injuries will not be the same as another person involved in a similar car accident. Again, it's pretty standard that your injuries may not seem apparent immediately after the auto accident.

Frequently, people don't instantly realize they have sustained an injury to the back, neck, knees, or shoulders.

Injuries from a car accident could take several days, months, or even years to show. If this describes your situation after a car accident, you will probably want to know potential options to pursue fair compensation for your injuries.

While you may have legal options for financial recovery in this situation, there are specific considerations to make to ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to.

If you have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another party, you should contact a Los Angeles car accident lawyer at Injury Justice Law Firm LLP. Let our attorneys review the details of your auto accident to determine your legal options moving forward.

Why Don't Car Accident Injuries Always Show Right Away?

A car accident is a stressful event, and when something stressful occurs, your body will produce adrenaline. 

This type of reaction will typically mask the immediate appearance of many kinds of injuries. Additionally, your body will attempt to heal itself by rebuilding damaged soft tissue injuries.

This healing response will often cause swelling and inflammation that won't begin until some point after an injury occurs.

There is also an emotional healing process after an auto accident, where you probably won't fully realize precisely how much you are mentally impacted until long after the auto collision.

Types of Car Accident Injuries That May Not Show Immediately

Whiplash – Even a low-speed car accident can generate a lot of force as the driver and passengers will come to a sudden stop, or they will get tossed around inside the vehicle.

This places a lot of stress on joints and other body parts. The most common type of hidden injury after a car accident is soft tissue injury.

This includes strained muscles and torn ligaments. When your neck is involved, this is commonly known as whiplash.  

This can be a severe and painful injury creating a situation where you cannot move around or walk normally. It can also cause severe pain and suffering as the muscles, nerves, and tendons in your neck have been damaged.

It's not uncommon for the full impact of a whiplash injury to reveal itself for several days or weeks after a car accident.

Whiplash injuries are frequently challenging to diagnose and treat, especially in cases where the full extent of the injury does not appear right away.

A whiplash injury is not like a broken bone that will appear on an x-ray. Any medical treatment depends on you feeling the pain and notice you have less movement in your neck and shoulders. Call a Los Angeles car accident lawyer at our law firm for more detailed information.

Brain Injuries and Concussions – Another common form of a hidden injury after an auto accident is a brain injury or concussion. When you suffer a strike to your head or skull area, your brain could impact the inside of your skull with a lot of force.

When this occurs, you could suffer a concussion, a severe injury. When your brain has been injured, you may not become aware of the extent of the damage for days or weeks later.

It's not uncommon for the symptoms to not show up immediately. In some concussions, the signs are apparent, such as disorientation, but the injury can also be subtle. Concussions can be difficult to diagnose for victims as the symptoms often take time to reveal themselves.

Some common concussion symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Changes to sleep patterns
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

If you have any of these symptoms after an auto accident, you need to seek medical treatment right away. This also applies if you are not feeling any immediate pain or discomfort.

Even if your doctor can't find any injuries on your initial visit, they could provide you with valuable information on ways to monitor your condition to seek care later if you did suffer a brain injury or concussion. Contact a Los Angeles car accident attorney at our office for more information.

Don't Settle Your Case Right Away After a Car Accident

After your car accident, the other driver's insurance company might contact you and attempt to sign a release of any claims. They might even offer you a quick settlement to sign this release.

It would help if you waited until you had been thoroughly examined by a medical professional before making any agreements with the insurance company.

Additionally, it would help if you waited long enough to ensure any injuries from the car accident have revealed themselves. Your doctor can provide you with this type of information.

If you sign the insurance company release, and then your injuries start to show up, you will not be able to return to the insurance company to pay for your medical treatments.

Once your sign their release, you waive your legal right to pursue compensation. Instead, you would be very wise to see a doctor as soon as possible after your car accident.

Why? The other party's insurance company might claim you were not injured because you didn't even make an effort to see a doctor.

In addition, some insurance coverage might require you to seek medical treatment within a specific time frame after an auto accident. It's important to remember the goal of an insurance company is to settle your claim for the least amount possible.

Contact a Car Accident Injury Attorney

Suppose you have been involved in a car accident and sustained injuries due to another driver's negligence. In that case, it's essential to have an aggressive car accident injury lawyer on your side.

This will give you the best chance of receiving the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. A medical expert may be needed to challenge an insurance company's claims about your injuries in some cases.

It would help if you spoke with our experienced personal injury lawyers before you file a claim to learn more about some of the typical issues with these types of claims where your injuries don't show up right away.

Our injury attorneys can also explain what type of evidence is needed to pursue this type of claim and the number of damages you may be able to recover. 

It all starts with a phone call. Our LA injury lawyers need to thoroughly review the details of your car accident to determine your legal options. Call our office at 310-734-7974.

About the Author

Inna Gorin

Inna Gorin, the founding Partner of Injury Justice Law Firm modeled the Firm after her ideals and principles of what skilled, aggressive and tenacious representation of individual clients should embody. Ms. Gorin's mission is to level the playing field, and provide her clients with the same level...


If you have been injured in an accident, our experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorneys will protect your legal rights and help you recover compensation for your injuries. We are available 24/7 for your risk free initial consultation in Beverly Hills, Encino, Glendale, Hermosa Beach, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Marina Del Rey, Redondo Beach, Torrance, Santa Monica, San Fernando Valley, Valencia and Ventura County areas.