Being in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, and injuries may not show up until days or weeks later. How do you know if an injury is actually related to the accident versus just a coincidence?
There are a few things to consider when determining whether your injury stemmed from your auto collision.
Consider the type of injury
Certain types of injuries are more commonly associated with car crashes than others. Whiplash, back and neck pain, concussions, broken bones, lacerations and bruising often result from collisions. Think about the physics of the crash and whether your injury matches the forces involved.
Evaluate the timing
Injuries that show up immediately or within a week of an accident are likely connected to the incident. Symptoms that take weeks or months to appear could be coincidental. This is a strong guideline however it is important to also recognize that some injuries, such as concussions, can have delayed effects.
Compare your pre and post-accident health
Take into account your health before the crash. Did you already have any underlying conditions that could be responsible for your symptoms? Are the injuries brand new or an aggravation of a previous problem? Reflecting on your pre and post-accident health can help connect the dots.
Nearly 2.3 million people suffered injuries in accidents in 2020. Figuring out if an injury stems from a car accident involves looking at factors including the injury type and timing as well as your medical history. Pay attention to new symptoms or aggravated previous conditions that match the collision. The sooner you seek medical attention to assess your symptoms, the sooner you document the injury in case you need to file a claim.