Fortunately, car accidents sometimes result in only minor injuries. While these impairments might not seem substantial enough to justify filing a claim, it is important to understand that even though an injury might initially appear small, it can become aggravated and turn into a substantial impairment down the road. People who are left with minor injuries following a car crash often question whether or not they should pursue compensation, and they also often will take a nominal amount immediately offered by an insurance company in exchange for signing a release that releases the other driver and the insurance company for all liability, even for injuries caused by the accident that may develop over time. Below are important details to consider when pursuing compensation if you have received minor injuries in a car crash.
Minor Injuries Are Still Serious Injuries
Various injuries can be caused by car accidents. Some of these injuries are more serious than others, but all of them require medical attention time to recuperate. Some of the most common car accident injuries that are considered “minor” include the following:
- Whiplash: Whiplash is one of the most common injuries incurred in car crashes. Whiplash occurs when a person’s head and neck are jerked suddenly back and forth. This injury is common in accidents in which a vehicle is struck from the front or rear.
- “Mild” Concussions: While many mistakenly believe that you need to be struck on the head to incur a concussion, that is not true. Concussions can occur whenever there is a sudden acceleration and then deceleration of the body and brain. The reality is that no concussion is “mild,” and the term “mild” is a misnomer that refers to whether a person has lost consciousness following a closed head injury, and not to a person’s resulting symptoms from a closed head injury. All concussions are traumatic brain injuries, and the brain never fully recovers after injury. New research emerges every year, but the most recent research indicates that those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (even a “mild” concussion) have more than twice the risk of the general population for developing dementia or other neurocognitive disease in their lifetimes. Common early symptoms of a concussion include disorientation, headaches, loss of consciousness (also altered consciousness), brain fog, and just not “feeling right.”
- Muscle sprains: When muscles or tendons are stretched or torn, these are referred to as sprains or strains. These injuries are common in car crashes and are often categorized as minor. Based on the severity of the injury, however, victims may endure substantial and lasting pain that requires long-term treatment and management.
- Herniated Discs: Herniated discs are spinal injuries, though they may be deemed minor. They occur when the membrane inside a spinal disc leaks out and presses against the nerves in a person’s back. Herniated discs are distinct from whiplash because an MRI can detect herniation, but most advanced medical technology cannot detect whiplash.
You Should File a Claim Even if You Face Minor Injuries
When you incur a seemingly minor injury like muscle strain or whiplash after a car accident, you should always seek medical attention as soon as possible. By brushing off your injuries and waiting to pursue medical treatment, your delay in treatment will be used by insurance companies to argue (in negotiation or ultimately to a jury at trial) that you weren’t really in pain or that the pain was so minor that medical attention wasn’t needed. This makes obtaining compensation for your injuries more challenging. A personal injury attorney can guide you through the process and help you obtain the maximum compensation you are entitled to under our legal system.
Obtain the Assistance of an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
At House Law LLC, we understand the challenges faced by car crash victims, no matter how severe or seemingly minor their injuries might be. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, we invite you to contact our law office today to schedule a free case evaluation.