How Long After a Car Accident Can Symptoms Appear?
Car accidents are fairly common. You or someone you know has probably been involved in at least one minor car accident. However, car accidents can be incredibly dangerous, and drivers and passengers can be seriously injured. Many injuries are visible immediately after an accident. Lacerations, broken bones, and other physical wounds appear almost right away. However, not all injuries are externally visible. Some injuries may go unnoticed or may not present symptoms until some time after the accident.
Injuries from car accidents can be unpredictable. There have been many cases of people with severe, life-altering injuries after accidents. There have also been cases of people miraculously walking away from accidents unharmed. However, after any car accident, you should be monitoring yourself for injuries as they can manifest long after the accident. Depending on what kind of injury you have, it could go unnoticed for days, weeks, months, or even years. It is important to be careful and seek medical attention.
If you were in a car accident in the past and have recently noticed injuries you think may have been caused by that accident, our team can help you. Our Boston car accident attorneys can help you sue the responsible drivers and get compensation for your injuries. Schedule a free legal consultation with the staff at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan. Call (617) 925-6407 to get help right away.
How Long it Takes for Some Injuries to Appear After a Car Accident
The time it takes for an injury to present itself will depend on the nature of the injury. Sometimes, new injuries may result from other minor injuries that go untreated. For example, an untreated laceration could end up getting infected and become more serious. Other times, the injury is undetectable until later, such as with internal injuries.
One common injury that does not always appear immediately after a car accident is a concussion. Many accident victims who suffer concussions do not feel any pain and do not realize they are injured. They might go home and feel dizzy, confused, nauseous, and sensitive to light and sound over the next few days. These are telltale signs of a concussion, which is a traumatic brain injury. Concussions could be somewhat minor, and victims may make full recoveries. Other times, concussions are very serious and may have life-long effects if left untreated.
Another common injury that takes time to show up in accident victims is whiplash. In many cases, the signs of whiplash do not appear for a couple of days. Symptoms can include headaches, a stiff neck, and severe neck pain. Symptoms may also develop more slowly and become increasingly painful as time goes on.
Other injuries that may appear long after an accident are those related to internal bleeding. In cases where the internal bleeding is significant, a doctor can tell right away that the patient is injured. However, internal bleeds are sometimes small and go unnoticed for days or even weeks until other parts of your body begin to suffer.
There could be delayed mental injuries as well. Accident survivors have been known to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). People who have PTSD might experience flashbacks, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. The symptoms can be so debilitating that survivors have difficulty living a normal life. PTSD symptoms sometimes appear long after an accident has happened, and the reality of the situation has sunken in.
If you are suffering from injures from a past car accident, our Cambridge car accident attorneys can help you.
Statute of Limitations and Developing Symptoms After a Car Accident
Plaintiffs have a limited time to take certain legal actions against defendants. This time limit is referred to as the statute of limitations. Different states may impose different statutes of limitations for personal injury cases, including car accident cases. For example, Massachusetts has a three-year statute of limitations on personal injury cases.
It is important to understand the statute of limitations in your state related to car accident cases because you might encounter injuries that appear close to the deadline or even after the deadline passes. In these situations, you and your legal team must work fast to get medical attention, assess the extent of your injuries, and calculate damages. It is important to track the development and appearance of symptoms right away, as the clock on your case begins ticking the day of the accident.
Talk to our car accident attorneys about the statute of limitations in your case. Time is of the essence, and we may need to act quickly if your injuries did not present themselves until long after your accident.
What If My Injuries Do Not Appear Until After the Statute of Limitations Expires?
If the statute of limitations on your car accident case has passed, you could be barred from filing a lawsuit. This means you would be unable to recover any compensation for your injuries. However, it may be possible to toll the statute and buy a little extra time.
One example of tolling a statute was mentioned previously. Statutes of limitations are often tolled for minors until they reach the age of 18. The law often gives minors special treatment because they cannot file lawsuits on their own behalf while still so young. It may not be possible for such a young person to even understand they have the right to sue until they are much older.
You may also toll the statute of limitation if you are disabled. Your disability must have prevented you from filing the lawsuit. A person who was injured and uses a wheelchair is disabled, but not in a way that stops them from filing a lawsuit. Suppose you had a severe mental disability or mental illness at the time of the accident that prevented you from filing a lawsuit. Under Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 260 § 7, because you were mentally incapable of filing a lawsuit, the statute would be tolled until your disability resolves or a guardian is appointed.
It might also be possible to toll a statute if you were unaware of your injuries even after performing your due diligence to be checked out by a doctor. When injuries present themselves after a statute has expired, the plaintiff could toll the statute if they had no way of knowing about their injuries until it was too late. Contact our Malden car accident attorneys about your case today.
Call Our Car Accident Lawyers for Help
If you were injured in a car accident, your injuries might not be immediately visible. Some injuries take time to present themselves. Our Somerville car accident lawyers can help you file your case no matter when your injuries become known. Arrange a free legal consultation at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan by calling (617) 925-6407.