If you are a motorist in New Orleans, you might risk your life whenever you take to the road. Even the safest drivers can suffer catastrophic injuries or even die due to another party’s negligence. The severity of accident injuries depends on where you sat in the car, whether you wore your seat belt, the location of the impact and the speed of both vehicles at the time of the collision.
Keep in mind that not all injuries are immediately evident. The shock and release of adrenalin immediately after the crash might dull any pain. If you see no fractured bones or open wounds, you might decline a trip to the hospital, which is typically not a good idea. Injuries could remain hidden for some time, and when you eventually go to the doctor, the injuries might not link to the accident. That could adversely affect your chances of recovering damages through the Louisiana civil justice system.
Auto accident injuries that might not be immediately evident:
- Whiplash is a common injury that happens when a collision’s impact causes your neck and head to move forward and backward or from side to side in a whiplash motion. Damage to neck tendons and muscles could cause worsening pain over time, neck stiffness and limited movement.
- A concussion can also follow whiplash, causing your brain to smash into the rigid inside of the skull, damaging brain cells. Depending on the location of the damage, delayed symptoms could include impaired concentration, focus and memory, and many other cognitive problems.
- Musculoskeletal injuries can also follow whiplash. Bent, stretched or compressed muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves in the neck, shoulders or other areas of your body can result in long-term or chronic pain.
- Bone fractures occur mostly in the arms, hands, legs and feet due to compression or blunt force trauma. However, this could vary, depending on whether you were the driver or a passenger and whether you sat in the car’s front or rear.
- Emotional injuries could cause extended periods of depression and anxiety. It could develop into post-traumatic stress disorder with symptoms like recurring nightmares and repeatedly experiencing the trauma of the accident.
Even if you feel no pain or discomfort, going for a medical evaluation is always a good idea after a collision, even insignificant ones. The sooner injuries caused by car accidents are diagnosed and treated, the better, especially if the crash caused internal organ injuries. If another party’s negligence caused your injuries, you could file a personal injury lawsuit in a New Orleans civil court. This also applies if you were a passenger in the negligent driver’s vehicle. Successful claims could provide financial relief to cover economic losses and emotional damages.