Delayed Injuries from Accident
I have handled automobile accident cases for over twenty years, and the matter of delayed injuries is a frequent question. It is not uncommon for an individual to be involved in an accident and experience few or no symptoms at the scene of the accident. This physiological delay can occur for many reasons. Many accident survivors experience an adrenaline surge, and concerns about physical health are temporarily minimized as a result. Neurosurgeons and orthopedic spine surgeons have explained to me that after an accident, symptoms that were initially minor, have a tendency to considerably worsen by the following day, or even up to three days afterward.
During an accident, the body has minuscule blood vessels that are damaged, and in order to heal, these blood vessels begin to gradually swell. When there is significant swelling, these latent injuries start to manifest, as pain appears and ranges of motion are reduced. Even seemingly insignificant and unnoticed injuries sustained during an accident can become aggravated due to continued use. For example, if an accident results in a small meniscal tear in the knee, continuing to walk on the knee will worsen the symptoms and expand the tear. In cases where there is a delayed symptom or a delayed worsening of a symptom, we still prosecute the case in the same manner, and cases such as these are not uncommon.