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Holler When It Hurts

Jim is rear-ended in a car accident.  He hops out of the car assuring all who can hear that he is just fine.  Despite significant damage to his car he refuses to be taken to the hospital. Two days after the accident he wakes up with a great deal of pain in his neck and back.

Injuries caused by a car accident may not be immediately apparent. Whiplash, for example, is a common neck injury that can occur during rear-end automobile collisions when your head suddenly moves backward and then forward—similar to the motion of someone cracking a whip.  These extreme motions push your neck muscles and supporting tissue beyond the normal range of motion.  Whiplash does not always result in symptoms immediately after an accident. It can take up to 78 hours for symptoms such as swelling and sensitivity to occur.

A small linear fracture (“hairline fracture”) is another example of an injury that can be slow to cause pain.  Oftentimes these fractures do not show up on an x-ray in the emergency room.  Hairline fractures can widen and then begin to cause problems months later.  A herniated disc of the spine is yet another form of injury that may be diagnosed months after an accident.  It is only when the pain persists that the doctor orders additional testing such as an MRI to help diagnose a herniated disc or other abnormality.

Postponing treatment in hopes that pain will go away complicates your medical treatment as well as your insurance claim.  The insurance industry uses the phrase “lapse of treatment” to try to discredit your medical damages if you do not maintain immediate and consistent medical treatment.  So “holler when it hurts” if your pain is recurrent or if new problems arise.  Let the Attorneys at LawSmith know even if you are not sure the pain is related to the accident. It is our priority to work with you and your medical team to help you return to your pre-injury status.

Very Important: In Georgia you usually have two years from the start of the incident which caused your injury.  If you experience an injury while on the job, make sure you inform your supervisor of your injury promptly, preferably within 72 hours.  Remember to take time to find out the full extent of your injuries BEFORE you settle your case.

For more information about whiplash, hairline fractures and herniated discs visit:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/medlineplus.html
http://www.mayoclinic.com/