Car accidents and other sudden physical traumas trigger adrenaline and endorphin production. These chemicals are the body’s self-defense mechanism which allows you to keep moving and get yourself out of a dangerous situation. Adrenaline also stimulates the body and blocks pain, allowing the body to focus on survival.
Once those chemicals wear off, the pain starts—and the injuries become more apparent. It is not uncommon for someone to be involved in a car accident without noticing any immediate injury, only to discover much later that they have suffered injuries directly related to the accident.
Some injuries known to have delayed onset pain include:
- Soft-tissue damage
- Bruised or cracked bones
Feeling “fine” after an auto accident is normal—even when you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury or severe soft-tissue damage. In some cases, the worst of your pain may not manifest for days or weeks. The America Migraine Foundation found that 25% of car accident victims who did not have a headache immediately following the collision reported “delayed onset headaches” six months later.
Concussion victims not only suffered delayed headaches, but developed new symptoms like jaw pain (TMJ) in the months between initial treatment and follow-up. The phenomenon of delayed pain is well-documented in medical circles, but what actually causes delayed pain is not totally understood.
See a physician after any car accident to get a complete evaluation of your condition. Even if you feel you are not injured, allow time for the injuries to manifest themselves fully and see a doctor just in case. For you, what’s important is knowing that the full impact of your car accident may not be known for months afterward—which is why you need to avoid speaking with an insurance company before hiring an attorney.
Should I Sign the Settlement Agreement If my Insurance Offers One?
Absolutely not. Here’s why:
First, you must realize that an insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, not for you. He or she may urge you to sign a release of claims, legally waiving your right to claim damages for any injuries or pain that may appear later. Adjusters know that your accident may yield future damages—the point of a settlement agreement is to let them off the hook for the injuries you haven’t discovered yet.
The settlement agreement might save you time—but it won’t get you everything you need to recover. Once you sign a release, you may have no recourse to compensation for your treatment. Releases are worded to waive your legal right to compensation.
What About Lump Sum Settlement Offers?
Remember this: all lump sums are lowballs. Insurance adjusters offer you the bare minimum needed to get your case closed. Don’t be surprised if the adjuster offers you a lump sum settlement as a more enticing offer to sign. Under no circumstances should you fall for their trick.
If they offer you more money than you’ve ever had in your life, it doesn’t matter—you’re probably entitled to even more.
Remember who the adjuster works for. Realize that any immediate offers are ones that the insurance company is comfortable offering you—not what you deserve for your injuries and treatment. After all, the insurance company makes money by collecting premiums and limiting payouts, not by being generous with their payouts.
Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyers Offer Seasoned Counsel at No Cost
Handler, Henning and Rosenberg LLP has been helping the injured people of Pennsylvania since 1922 get back on their feet after suffering wrongful injuries and unjust harm. With law offices in Harrisburg, Lancaster, York, Hanover, and Carlisle, we have an office near you to help you get the legal advice you need after a car accident.
If you’re not sure if you have a strong case, one call with our team will give you the information you need. We’ll review your case for free, outline your legal options, and tell you the benefits and risks of each one. If your case has merit and we decide to take it on, you’ll pay no upfront costs—we’ll get to work while you focus on getting better.
Call (888) 498-3023 or contact us online for a free review of your case—get the answers you need today.