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Can I Still Sue if My Injuries Manifested Much Later?

  • Published: September 21, 2022
Can I Still Sue if My Injuries Manifested Much Later?

Every year, thousands of Pennsylvania drivers are injured in car crashes due to drivers’ negligence. These accidents often cause major damage to vehicles and the drivers themselves. While many injuries may be obvious–like a broken arm or open wound–crashes can also cause more complex damage.  These hidden injuries go undetected when our bodies’ natural instincts kick in. 

After an automobile accident, you may experience a rush of energy that helps you act in the moment. Many people report experiencing increased energy and reduced pain after dangerous situations like car accidents. Epinephrine, a hormone and neurotransmitter, is responsible for this physical reaction. You might know epinephrine more commonly as adrenaline. Release of epinephrine, or “adrenaline rushes,” protect you in an accident by activating your flight or fight response and preparing your body to act quickly.

But, while adrenaline serves an important role in protecting your body, it can also make you unaware of the symptoms you are actually experiencing by increasing your pain tolerance. This decreases the symptoms experienced from your injuries for a short period of time, but they often appear later when your adrenaline wears off and your body returns to its normal state. Days after the accident, you might experience a severe headache or find that you have a limited range of motion. If you haven’t strained your body since the crash, it’s likely the accident caused these delayed symptoms.

Common Hidden Injuries

Sometimes, hidden injuries may not manifest for hours or even days after your accident. These injuries range from minor to serious, which is why you should always consult a doctor after an accident even if you don’t feel hurt. If left untreated, these injuries could become severe and impact your quality of life. 

Common hidden injuries include:

  • Concussions or dizziness
  • Whiplash and muscle pain 
  • Neck pain 
  • Limited range of motion
  • Back injuries  
  • Spinal cord injuries

Can I still sue, even if my injuries manifested later?

In short, yes. You shouldn’t suffer because of someone else’s negligence! But, it might be harder to hold the negligent driver responsible without a clear connection between the accident and your injuries.

Don’t make the mistake of declaring yourself injury-free immediately after an accident. The other driver could use this statement to deflect responsibility if your symptoms don’t manifest until much later.  Instead, seek a physician and keep a journal of how and when your injuries present themselves. Medical records will be useful if you decide to take legal action, and your own account can help identify when your symptoms began.

As always, the best way to protect yourself in a car accident is to prepare. Learning more about how to protect yourself in an accident will help you avoid common mistakes that could cost you your case. 

A car accident has caused my mental health to decline. Do I have a case? 

Car accidents can also have a lasting impact on you and your emotional well being. Your mental health may decline in the days or weeks following an accident. You might also experience common mental health issues, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or depression. Nearly one third of individuals in motor vehicle accidents experience PTSD in the 30 days following a crash. If you are experiencing anxiety or depression, reach out to your doctor or a certified mental health professional to help manage your symptoms. Medical records of your treatment could also provide important evidence in your case later. If a car accident caused you mental distress, you should seek treatment right away. 

Injured in a car accident? Receive a personalized case consultation today–free of charge! Call (267) 225-3317 or request a consultation

Car accidents are traumatic events and you shouldn’t have to go through it alone. Reach out to an attorney to make your personal injury claim and advocate for you. If you were injured by a reckless or negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation. You can receive compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and emotional suffering. 

In situations like these, you need a personal injury attorney you can trust. Attorney Crichton has successfully reached fair settlements for his clients’ personal injury claims.  Attorney Crichton will gather evidence, interview witnesses, and build a strong case while you focus on recovery. Don’t wait! Call (267) 225-3317 today. 


Troy Crichton

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