I’m Ed Smith, a car accident lawyer in Sacramento. A two-vehicle collision along State Route 99 in Sacramento on April 24, 2018, resulted in an injury. Accidents are frequent along SR 99, particularly during the increased morning and evening traffic congestion periods. This incident occurred shortly after 8:00 in the morning along the highway near Arno Road when a Dodge Ram truck and a cargo van collided. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), both parties involved in the crash were outside their vehicles taking photographs of the damage when they arrived on the scene. Although the parties reported suffering minor injuries from the accident, an ambulance was requested to check out the injuries as well as a tow truck to remove at least one of the vehicles.
How Minor Injuries Can Turn Serious
What seems to be a minor injury in the adrenaline-fueled period after a motor vehicle accident can change after the fight or flight hormone subsides. Within hours or days to weeks after the incident, it can become painfully apparent that something is wrong. Several common symptoms are often delayed or mistaken for the aftereffects of stress. They are:
- Headaches: Headaches can be related to trauma in several ways. Whether the car occupant struck his or her head on an object in the vehicle or the head was jerked forward and backward during the crash, injury to the brain tissue can occur. This happens because the brain hits the skull. In some cases, particularly minor ones, the person may experience no symptoms initially. However, as time passes, a headache may develop. Since headaches are frequent, there is a tendency to write them off. A headache can be a sign of traumatic brain injury. In such instances, the brain may be bruised, a clot might have developed or a concussion could have occurred. A blood clot such as a subdural hematoma usually is symptomatic within a day or two, but in older people, it may take up to a month for the slightest injury.
- Back pain: This common symptom can appear right away or take days to show itself. Depending on the severity of the injury, the pain may herald muscle or tendon injury, a herniated disc or spinal injury due to pinched nerves as they exit the cord. Pinched nerves are usually associated with numbness and tingling in the extremities.
- Shoulder and neck pain: Pain in the neck and shoulders can point to a soft tissue injury caused by the rapid forward and backward motion of the neck. This is often called cervical strain or, in everyday language, whiplash. Cervical strain rarely is obvious right away. Instead, it is noticeable within 72 hours after the accident.
- Abdominal trauma: Pain in the abdomen or swelling may indicate that abdominal organs were bruised or injured. The abdomen may be damaged on the surface, and the individual may experience episodes of dizziness due to blood loss. This represents a medical emergency. It may take up to several days for this to manifest itself.
See a Doctor Whether Symptomatic or Not After an Accident
It is important to be evaluated by a medical professional immediately after an accident. Even if symptoms are not apparent, a physician can obtain a baseline from which future symptoms can be evaluated. Failing to take this step can lead to devastating physical consequences as well as opening the door for insurers to deny your injury claim.
Accepting a Settlement Before You Have All the Facts
Insurance companies will often rush to provide a settlement for consideration. Aside from it being lower than it should be, it prevents paying for late-appearing complications. If the injured party accepts the agreement, they are unable to obtain coverage for any other problem that surfaces due to injuries suffered in the accident. It is best to wait until a physician reports that the person has reached a point of maximal medical improvement. This means that no further improvement will be possible.
Sacramento Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a car accident lawyer in Sacramento. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, reach out for the legal help you need. Call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for friendly and free legal advice. You can also contact me online.
I’ve assisted Sacramento residents in the past 36 years with catastrophic injuries and wrongful death claims. I’ve also won verdicts that exceeded $1 million for a past client. Because of this, I am a member of a forum of trial attorneys, the Million Dollar Advocates.
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