Sometimes it's easy to prove an injury was the direct result of an accident, especially if you were transported to the hospital from the scene of the crash. Other times, proving a connection can be more difficult, which becomes a major problem if you're fighting for financial compensation. If you are diagnosed with any of the medical conditions below after a car crash, contact an auto accident attorney ASAP. An experienced lawyer can help you collect the reimbursement you are entitled to receive.
Did you hit your head on the steering wheel or the driver-side door during your wreck? Both of these things can cause a concussion. In fact, you can even get a concussion without hitting your head if your body is jerked around quickly during the crash. Unfortunately, concussion symptoms do not always appear immediately, and evidence of a concussion is not always visible on an X-ray or MRI.
If your concussion symptoms are not treated in a timely manner, you may develop post-concussion syndrome. This condition lasts anywhere from a few weeks to a few years, and you may find it difficult to work or attend school until the headaches, nausea, and other symptoms disappear. A car accident lawyer understands the impact that a long-term medical condition can have on your finances and will fight to help you receive compensation for the crash.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly referred to as PTSD, occurs after a traumatic event. Symptoms include nightmares, episodes of depression and/or anxiety, and insomnia. The American Psychological Association says that automobile accidents are a "leading cause" of PTSD, and research shows that at least 9% of individuals who were in a car wreck develop PTSD.
Patients are not always diagnosed with PTSD immediately after a car crash, because some healthcare professionals like to establish a pattern of symptoms before officially diagnosing a patient with this mental health condition. If symptoms are not severe, Mayo Clinic recommends seeing a doctor if they persist for more than a month. However, some car insurance companies offer a settlement in as little as one month. An established lawyer can help delay the settlement long enough for you to prove that you deserve reimbursement for your PTSD.
If you have neck or back pain that started shortly after the accident, you may have a hard time proving that it stemmed from the car wreck. Some folks decline a visit to the emergency room because they feel fine, then develop symptoms shortly afterward. For example, whiplash symptoms usually occur within 24 hours, but sometimes they do not show up for several days.
Back and neck pain occur when one or more of the vertebrae in your spine moves slightly -- or significantly -- out of place. You may not realize this has happened until the pain becomes severe and you require medical attention, such as physical therapy or chiropractic adjustments. You should not have to pay for these expenses out of your own pocket, even if you are not diagnosed immediately after the accident. An attorney can contact the insurance company and let them know that they need to pay your medical bills, as well as refer you to a trustworthy doctor who commonly handles paperwork for patients injured by a car crash.
Do not accept the settlement that a car insurance company offers you if you do not feel the settlement is fair. Review your options with a professional automobile accident attorney who understands the challenges that injured individuals face after a wreck. An attorney from a law firm like Fonvielle, Lewis, Foote & Messer will fight for you in the courtroom so that you can improve your chances of getting every penny you deserve for your medical expenses.