Getting into a car accident is always a stressful situation. If it was a major accident, you may be worried about physical injuries, damage to your car, and having to take time off work to deal with everything. But, what if it was a relatively minor accident? In some instances, the crash is a fender bender, the drivers exchange information, and go on about their day — thinking they’ll deal with the issue later. So what happens if you wake up the next day and your neck hurts? Should you just wait it out? Are there common neck injuries from car accidents that may get worse later?
Neck Pain After a Car Accident
While it’s possible to come out of a minor car accident without any injuries, you should never make that determination yourself. The most common reasons being:
You May Not Be Aware You Are Hurt
Immediately after the incident, adrenaline rushes through your body. This means you may not feel any aches and pains even if you are injured. In fact, some of the most common injuries treated by physicians occur from car accidents. The stress of collisions — even minor ones — can cause issues like herniated discs, whiplash, as well as torn soft tissues. These types of injuries may take a while to manifest, yet once you find out you have them, they require immediate medical attention and may take weeks — and sometimes, even months — to heal.
You May Forfeit Recovering Money If You Wait
Florida Statutes Section 627.736 requires that all car insurance policies in the State provide Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This means that, regardless of who was at fault for the accident, your own insurance company will cover 80% of your medical bills, up to $10,000. This benefit covers you, your relatives who live with you, anyone who was driving your car at the time of the accident, passengers, and anyone else who got injured. It also covers 60% of your gross lost wages — payable every two weeks. However, the only way to obtain PIP is if you file your claim within 14 days from the date of the accident.
Waiting May Affect Any Evidence of the Accident
The longer you wait out your pain, the more difficult it will be to prove that your neck injuries were a result of the accident. This is due to several reasons. If a nearby business or street light has surveillance footage of the accident, the same will likely be deleted after a specific timeframe unless you specifically ask them to preserve it. If you like to play basketball on weekends, do cross-fit, or sleep on an old mattress, the opposing party will likely try to blame any of these circumstances for your neck injuries. The longer you wait, the more activities you may do that will exacerbate the pain or give the other side ammunition in attempts to lower their liability.
The injury May Be Worse Than You Initially Think
There are several neck injuries that could result from your car accident. For example, whiplash occurs when you’re rear-ended and the impact causes your head to move backward and forward. This affects the bones in your spine. After the adrenaline rush, you may experience neck pain, stiffness, and a limited range of motion. If the injury is serious, you may also eventually experience regular headaches and/or a buzzing in your ears.
Herniated discs occur when the outer layer of the discs between your vertebrae ruptures and its contents come out. The damage may be unnoticeable at first, yet eventually develop into chronic neck pain that radiates to your back. If the injury is serious, you may eventually experience numbness and weakness in your arms and/or a loss of bladder control.
Call us at Clark Law for a consultation
There are many factors that affect the outcome of a case. If you or someone you love was involved in a car accident, call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation. We’ll consider all circumstances to determine your best next step. We can also ensure that you receive proper compensation for any present as well as future medical expenses relating to your neck injuries.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.