Late Appearing Car Accident Injuries: What You Need to Know

neck pain after car wreck

Many common car accident injuries come with a delayed onset. In some cases, it may be several days, weeks, or even longer than that, before an auto accident victim actually feels the full extent of their injuries. Dealing with a late appearing car accident injury can be stressful, frustrating, and confusing. 

Please know that you still have legal options available. First, you need to get yourself to a doctor. Then, you should call a lawyer. Here, our Grand Junction auto accident attorneys highlight the most common types of delayed onset auto accident injuries and explain what you should do to protect your rights. 

What Types of Auto Accident Injuries Can Be Late Appearing?

The human body has built-in systems that help to provide protection during especially stressful events. As an example, being involved in a car accident will usually cause a person to experience a rush of adrenaline and endorphins. Among other things, these naturally occurring chemicals help to reduce pain. 

Of course, their effects are only temporary — as a result, people involved in a crash are sometimes far more severely injured than they initially realize. An injury that seems only modest and feels like it will go away with a little bit of rest may actually become far worse. Some of the car accident injuries that are notorious for coming with a delayed onset include: 

  • Concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
  • Whiplash and other forms of soft tissue damage; 
  • Back injuries and generalized back pain; 
  • Neck and shoulder injuries; and
  • Severe emotional distress (symptoms of PTSD). 

Delayed Onset Car Accident Injuries: Three Steps to Protect Your Rights

When people suffer from late appearing injuries, they are often worried that they already missed their chance to bring a claim. While this is an understandable concern, you likely still have options available. That being said, at this point, you need to take immediate action. If you have developed a late appearing auto accident injury, you should be sure to take the following three steps to protect your rights: 

  • Get to a Doctor Now: You need to get yourself in for a professional medical evaluation. Not only is this important to protect your health, but it is also necessary if you are considering pursuing a legal claim.  
  • Document Everything: Make sure you document everything. Above and beyond keeping your medical records, start taking notes. Write down the exact time you started feeling pain and describe your symptoms. 
  • Call an Attorney: You can still take action. Under Colorado law (CO Rev Stat § 13-80-101), car accident injury claims are subject to a three-year statute of limitations. That being said, insurance companies tend to view late-appearing injury claims with additional scrutiny and skepticism. You need professional legal representation.   

Speak to Our Grand Junction, CO Car Accident Injury Lawyer Today

At Cimarron Ridge Legal Group, our Colorado auto accident attorneys have more than seven decades of experience representing injured victims. If you developed a late-appearing car accident injury, we are here to help. To get your free, no commitment initial consultation, please contact our law firm right away. With an office in Grand Junction, we handle personal injury claims throughout the region, including in Mesa County, Delta County, Garfield County, and Montrose County.