Car Accident Statistics
While no one likes to imagine being in one, getting into car accidents is an occurrence that happens more frequently than one cares to think. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2016 alone, there were 6,296,000 car accidents reported to police in the United States. Of these 6,296,000 reported crashes, 37,461 people involved in said accidents died and 2,443,000 million more people suffered injuries. Given that the NHTSA estimates that approximately 10 million car accidents go unreported each year, the actual death and injury toll of car accidents is likely to be much higher than what is reported in statistics. One reason the injury toll is predicted to be much higher than what is reported each year is due to the fact that many car accident injuries manifest at a time much later than the actual accident. Because certain symptoms of injuries appear days, weeks, or even months after the car accident occurs, those who suffer late-appearing car accident injuries both fail to report that they were in a car accident and fail to seek prompt medical attention for their injuries. Below, we discuss some of the most common late-appearing injuries that result from car accidents and what to do if you recognize that you have symptoms of these injuries days, weeks, or months after the actual car accident occurs.
One of the most common late-manifesting car accident injuries is a traumatic brain injury called a concussion. A concussion occurs when impact from a collision causes your brain to rattle rapidly inside of your skull. People who suffer concussions often experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty concentrating
- Problems with coordination and balance
- Drowsiness or lethargy
- Increased irritability and sudden personality changes
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Ringing in ears
Because concussion symptoms often manifest hours, days, or weeks after the event that caused the concussion occurs, concussions following car accidents are difficult to diagnose. If left untreated and undiagnosed, however, these symptoms may worsen and some people may even experience post-traumatic seizures or develop post-traumatic epilepsy. For this reason, if you experience any one of the above symptoms after a car accident, it is best to seek medical treatment to determine if you are indeed suffering from a concussion.
Another common late-appearing car accident injury is whiplash. Whiplash is a soft-tissue injury that occurs when a person’s head and neck are suddenly jerked back and forth, causing ligaments and cervical muscles in the neck to stretch and tear. Whiplash often occurs when people are involved in rear-end car accidents because the nature of the accident causes the driver and passengers in the car sustaining the impact to jerk their heads and necks back and forth. Symptoms of whiplash typically do not fully develop until 24 hours after the injury occurs, which makes it difficult to diagnose immediately after the accident occurs. These symptoms include:
- Stiffness in the neck, shoulders, and arms
- Decreased range of motion of the head, neck, shoulders, and arms
- Lower back and referral pain to the lower extremities
- Slowed reflexes
- Numbness in the injured neck, hands, and arms
Those for suffer whiplash often experience the symptoms of the injury for weeks and months after the injury occurs and some symptoms may not even manifest until a few weeks or months after the injury occurs. In fact, 75 % of all those who suffer from whiplash feel the symptoms of whiplash for at least 6 months after the injury occurs. Consequently, if you start to experience above of the symptoms after a car accident, chances are that you have sustained a whiplash injury and will need to follow the proper course of medical treatment to alleviate your symptoms.
While the symptoms of a herniated disc after a car accident may be felt immediately, these symptoms may also manifest hours or days after the car accident occurs. Herniated discs occur when the rubbery cushions that sit in between the vertebrae in the spine and absorb shock to the body, otherwise called the discs are ruptured, and, as a result, the inner filling of the disk presses on nerves surrounding the spine. In a car accident, people suffer herniated discs when they sustain serious impact to the back or neck. While herniated discs occur more frequently in the lower back, they may also occur closer to the neck. People who suffer from herniated discs will experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- If the herniated disc occurs closer to the lower back, pain in your legs, lower back, and buttocks
- If the herniated disc occurs closer to the neck, pain in your shoulders, neck, and arms
- Tingling and numbness in parts of the body
- Muscle weakness
Because the pain and other symptoms associated with herniated discs may become quite severe if left untreated, it is prudent to seek medical attention as soon as possible after experiencing any of the above-listed symptoms.
What to Do After Discovering a Late-Appearing Car Accident Injury
While it is always best to seek immediate medical attention after a car accident to ensure that you have not sustained any injuries, if you experience a late-appearing injury after a car accident and have not yet sought medical attention, the first thing you should do is to seek medical attention to address the injury. A doctor will be able to diagnose your injury and put you on a proper treatment plan to heal the injury.
After seeking medical attention, it is prudent that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to address how you may be compensated for your injuries. If you were not the cause of the accident, you may be able to file a third party insurance claim with the other motorist’s automobile insurance carrier to get compensated for the costs associated with seeking medical attention for your injury. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to walk you through the process of filing such a claim. Alternatively, if your injuries are quite extensive, the at-fault motorist’s insurance policy may be insufficient to cover the costs of all the damage you have sustained. If that is the case, then an experienced personal injury attorney will be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault motorist to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Perth Amboy Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Late-Appearing Car Accident Injury Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at CourtLaw represent clients injured because of car accidents in Perth Amboy, New Brunswick, Jersey City, Paterson, and throughout New Jersey. Call (866) 632-4211 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 163 Market Street, Perth Amboy, NJ 08861, as well as offices in New Brunswick, NJ, Roselle, NJ, East Orange, NJ, Jersey City, NJ, Elizabeth, NJ, Linden, NJ, Newark, NJ, Paterson, NJ, South Amboy, NJ, and Trenton, NJ.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.