Did you wake up in unexpected pain after a car accident?

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

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Car accidents are never something you expect to happen on any given day, and in the confusion of the moment (or relief that no one seems hurt), many people drive away thinking that they got very lucky by not suffering an injury. In this case, a person who just experienced a car accident may choose to go on with one’s day without making time to seek out quality health care.

Unfortunately, many of those same individuals wake up the next morning and find that they have pain they can’t explain. While many types of injuries are apparent at the scene of an accident, other injuries may not cause pain until hours or even days following a collision. These are known as delayed onset injuries.

Types of delayed onset injuries

Different people may experience many kinds of delayed onset injuries. Some may find that they have soreness in the muscles of their neck or back, while others experience numbness or tingling, or even sharp pains in the their arms, legs, hands or feet. These symptoms are very common in injuries to the spinal cord or if the victim suffers whiplash.

A person may also experience a variety of delayed symptoms related to minor brain injuries. These may include physical symptoms like headaches, nausea or migraines, or less obvious symptoms such as personality changes, and difficulty concentrating or even difficulty understanding a language they know well.

While most delayed onset injuries are not life-threatening, abdomen injuries are very serious. If you feel abdomen pain after an accident, go to an emergency room immediately. You may have internal bleeding or organ damage that could turn fatal if left untreated.

When it comes to delayed onset injuries from a car accident, there’s good news and complicated news. The good news is that a driver who strikes you in a car collision still holds liability for your delayed injuries whether you realize you’re injured in the moment or not. The complicated news is that you must go to greater lengths to demonstrate that your injuries were indeed caused by the accident.

Do your part to care for your injuries

As soon as you realize that you suffered an injury, you should obtain medical care. Not only does this help you heal more quickly than waiting longer to seek treatment, but it also creates a stronger legal case when you pursue compensation for your injuries.

Should you choose to avoid treatment, as some people do if they are unsure how long it will take to receive compensation, not only do you place yourself at a greater health risk, but you also weaken your case. In broad terms, you have a duty to pursue proper treatment if you expect someone to compensate you for that treatment.

How can an attorney help you?

As in any injury accident, an attorney helps carry the burden of pursuing fair compensation. An attorney also ensures that your medical care providers understand the nature of your situation so that you get the help you need without drowning in medical debt.

In the case of delayed pain injuries, an attorney can also help you understand what you must do to prove that your car accident is responsible for your injuries, so that you can focus on recovery.

Jeffrey R. Smith

Jeffrey R. Smith

Managing Partner

Robert B. Waldsmith

Robert J. Waldsmith

Partner, 1999

William B. Smith

William B. Smith

Partner, 1978

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Vehicle Accidents

There are two things to establish in any motor vehicle accident case: the cause of the accident (fault) and the full cost of the injuries and losses. As we prepare your case, we will investigate both of these.


& Serious Injuries

People suffering from a brain injury, spinal cord injury or other severe injury will require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitative therapy and other long-term care.


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Claims related to sports and recreation injuries can be complicated. These cases often include issues involving waivers and the “assumption of risk” defense.


& Spine Injuries

When you or a loved one suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI), life changes dramatically. Even mild TBIs can lead to years of recovery and rehabilitation.


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The personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP have more than 100 years of combined experience guiding clients through the legal process.

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