| Read Time: 10 minutes | Car Accident

When you experience pain, your first priority is to discover where the pain is coming from and why. Anyone who has recently been in a car accident should always look first to this as the cause, even if it has been several days since the accident occurred. This is known as delayed pain after a car accident, and many types of injuries do not begin to hurt until hours, days, and sometimes even weeks after the initial trauma to your body.

Unfortunately, delayed pain injuries are among the most difficult to get insurance coverage for, because insurance companies strongly resist the addition of new injuries after the initial report is made. The good news is that with a dedicated Phoenix car accident lawyer on your side, you can get your delayed pain injury treated and fight for a fair, complete settlement from the car accident insurance claim.

Hutzler Law can help you navigate the difficulties of delayed pain after a car accident, from getting the medical care you need to securing the settlement to cover the expenses of that care.

What is delayed pain after accident symptoms?

Delayed pain after an accident is discomfort or symptoms that are not noticeable immediately following the incident but it can show up hours, days, or even weeks later. This is common because of initial trauma, which can temporarily mask pain.

Why Do People Experience Delayed Pain After a Car Accident?

The main reasons people experience delayed pain after a car accident are the physiological responses of adrenaline and endorphins that hide pain initially and injuries that may not show symptoms until there is a change in physical activity or position. It’s important to consult a doctor right away after an accident, even if no symptoms are immediately evident.

A delayed pain injury manifests when symptoms do not appear immediately after an incident but surface some time later. This is particularly common following car accidents, where injuries such as bone fractures and internal soft tissue damage might not be apparent right after the event. It may take time for the effects of soft tissue damage, like swelling and tenderness, to become noticeable. Similarly, certain bone fractures may not cause pain until you move in a way that aggravates the injury, revealing the extent of the damage.

These injuries, though delayed, require prompt medical attention. However, adding a new injury to an insurance claim after some time can be challenging. This is where a car accident lawyer can be invaluable. They can assist by engaging with the insurance company to amend your claim and advocate for a comprehensive settlement that covers medical treatment for both the immediate and delayed injuries.

The car accident attorneys at Hutzler Law in Phoenix are dedicated to supporting victims with both immediate and delayed injury symptoms. We understand the complexities of such cases and are prepared to help you secure the compensation you deserve. To discuss your case and explore your options, call us at 602-730-4530 or reach out through our online form.

Delayed pain after a car accident can occur for several reasons:

Adrenaline After the Accident: Immediately following the accident, adrenaline may mask the pain that you would typically feel. As the adrenaline dissipates and emotional shock subsides, previously unnoticed injuries may begin to cause significant discomfort, prompting the need for medical evaluation and treatment.

Endorphins: Similar to adrenaline, endorphins released during a stressful event can temporarily block pain as a protective mechanism. This can prevent you from detecting serious injuries until long after the accident has occurred.

Change in Body Position: Some injuries, such as fractures or slipped discs, may not become apparent until you move in a particular way post-accident. Until then, you might not experience any symptoms, leading you to believe you are uninjured.

Increased Injury: Delaying treatment for an undiscovered injury can lead to worsening conditions, especially if additional stress is placed on the affected area. As the injury progresses, pain and other symptoms might become more pronounced.

Remember, whether your pain is immediate or delayed following a car accident, seeking legal and medical advice promptly can play a crucial role in your recovery and compensation.

The Most Common Delayed Pain After a Car Accident

After a car accident, some types of injuries are immediately noticeable, but some more commonly surface with delayed pain as a key symptom. There are several types of common delayed pain injuries that occur after a car crash, and it’s important to be aware of them in the days and weeks after you have been in an accident.

Delayed Neck Pain

Neck pain can indicate damage to your spine or the soft tissue in your neck. Spinal injuries sometimes do not surface immediately because they relate to damage to your nervous tissue. Another common form of delayed nexk pain is whiplash that does not hurt until a few days or even months after the crash. This is known as Late Whiplash Syndrome.

Delayed Back Pain

Delayed back pain can come from many different sources after a car crash. There could be damage to your spine, to the soft tissue muscles, ligaments, and tendons that provide the shape and structure of your back, or even damage to the back of your ribcage. Soft tissue damage and bone fractures may each present as delayed pain because the most painful developments do not surface until later.

Delayed Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain has to do with the support structure of your back and can also radiate from damage to your hips. Lower back pain can become crippling over time, even if the initial pain from the accident was delayed.

Delayed Chest Pain

Delayed chest pain is among the most common after a car accident because the seatbelt, airbags, or steering wheel all typically cause damage to the soft tissue of your chest which may take time to swell and become tender.

Delayed Rib Pain

Delayed pain in your ribs can come from soft tissue tears or sprains or may be caused by fractured and bruised ribs that only hurt when you resume a more active lifestyle after resting from the initial accident trauma. Delayed rib pain tends to be lower in the chest and abdomen compared to delayed chest pain.

Signs of Hidden Injury Before Delayed Pain Surfaces

If you have an injury that will eventually reveal delayed pain, there are sometimes earlier symptoms that can be tracked as part of the injury and healing process. These symptoms can help you connect a delayed pain injury to the time of your recent car accident, and can also act as warning signs that you may be more injured than you first realized.

Excessive Sleeping and Fatigue

The body needs sleep to recover. If you thought that you were uninjured or only had minor injuries after a car accident but sleep for long hours and experience excessive fatigue, you may be more injured than you realize and need the recovery time.

Tingling and Numbness

Tingling and numbness are often evidence of nerve damage, spinal injury, or brain injury where pain is not being translated correctly by the body and brain. Always pay attention and see a doctor if you experience any tingling or numbness after a car accident.

Limited Range of Motion

Do you find yourself avoiding certain movements without knowing why? If you have a soft tissue injury or bone fracture that does not hurt all the time, your body may be subtly discouraging you from performing the movements that would reveal pain or damage the area worse during healing.

Headache and Nausea

Headache and nausea are common results of head injury, internal injuries that affect blood flow, and transferred pain in the form of tension. Intense headaches or nausea after a car accident should direct you straight to the doctor for scans and a detailed check-up.

Related Read: How Long After a Car Accident Can Injuries Appear?

Dealing with Delayed Pain After an Arizona Car Accident: What to Do

If you find yourself dealing with delayed pain after an Arizona car accident–that is, pain that may show up days or even weeks after the accident, rather than immediately after the accident–taking steps to protect yourself is critical.

1. Seek Medical Care as Soon as Possible

Ideally, you should seek care from a qualified medical professional as soon as you notice any type of delayed pain after an accident. Delayed pain can mean a lot of things, including potentially serious injuries that you may not have noticed at the time of the accident. If you received an emergency medical evaluation after the accident, but it did not identify a potential cause for your pain, you should seek care from a qualified medical provider. Furthermore, if you suffer more pain than anticipated, or your pain increases rather than decreasing, you should always talk to a doctor. 

Your medical care provider can help diagnose any injuries that cause delayed pain following a car accident and help you pursue the best treatment for your specific needs. 

Gathering Records

Keep copies of all medical records related to your car accident injuries, including injuries related to delayed pain. Start a file with any scans, tests, results, or paperwork from your care provider. That information can prove essential in putting together a future injury claim.

Tracking Medical Bills

As part of your injury claim, you will need to provide a record of all medical costs you faced as a direct result of your injuries, including any delayed injuries that may have shown up well after the accident itself. Create a file that includes all medical costs, including any co-pay and deductible amounts that you may have needed to pay at the time of service. 

2. Avoid Talking to the Insurance Company

Sometimes, when injuries show up, you may already be in conversations with the insurance company about how you plan to handle other aspects of the car accident claim, including to your vehicle. You may want to put that conversation on hold until you resolve any pain-related issues and have a better idea of what any medical treatment will cost. Do not let the insurance company convince you to ignore symptoms of pain or to take a settlement offer that does not fit your needs, especially if you do not yet know the cause of your pain or what assistance you will need. 

3. Get in Touch with a Lawyer

Do not delay contacting a lawyer after you discover that you have injuries related to a car accident. Any car accident claim involving injuries needs legal counsel, especially if you have severe injuries or do not know what the full extent of medical treatment for your injuries will look like. Let your lawyer take over all discussions with the insurance company. 

How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help?

A car accident lawyer can help by taking on the insurance company on your behalf, amending your insurance claim and fighting for a full settlement that includes medical coverage for the delayed pain injury in addition to any injuries that were reported sooner after the crash.

The Phoenix car accident attorneys of Hutzler Law are here to help you after any car accident injury, whether the symptoms are immediate or delayed. You can connect with us for a consultation by calling 602-730-4530 or reaching out through our online form.

Why You Need a Lawyer After an Arizona Car Accident Involving Delayed Pain

After a car accident with any type of injury, you need a personal injury lawyer on your side. However, an accident involving delayed pain may have more significant legal needs that you need to take into account. 

Understand Your Rights

Under Arizona law, if you suffer injuries in a car accident due to another party’s negligence, you may have the right to pursue compensation for the damages you sustained–including compensation for your medical costs and any income losses. However, the insurance company may pressure you to accept less than you really deserve for your injuries. You may even feel pressured to say, for example, that your injuries did not occur at the time of the car accident. An Arizona car accident lawyer can make sure you fully understand your rights and how to protect them. 

Establish the Compensation You Deserve

When you have delayed pain after an injury, you may have extensive medical costs as you work to determine what caused your injuries. Furthermore, you may have ongoing treatment costs, wage losses, and significant suffering to deal with. While a car accident lawyer cannot guarantee the compensation you will ultimately recover for your car accident injuries, they can offer you an overview of the damages you can include in your claim and what you should expect. 

 Show When Your Injuries Took Place

Delayed pain can complicate a car accident injury claim. When you suffer delayed pain, rather than pain that begins immediately after the accident, you may not seek medical attention immediately. While you may feel sure that your injuries occurred because of the car accident, the insurance company may try to prove that your injuries occurred at another time. A car accident lawyer, on the other hand, can work with medical experts and professionals to better show that your injuries resulted directly from the car accident and that, as a result, you deserve compensation from the insurance company for those injuries. 

Decrease Stress

When you find yourself dealing with a complicated insurance claim, it can substantially increase your overall stress levels–and that entirely aside from the stress that comes simply from dealing with severe pain and substantial injuries. When you work with an experienced car accident lawyer to handle your claim, on the other hand, you can feel much more confident that the process is going smoothly and that you have the legal support you need. 

Can I File a Personal Injury Claim if I Suffer Delayed Pain After a Car Accident in Arizona?

Delayed pain can make it more difficult to progress with an injury claim, since it can prove harder to establish that it occurred as a direct result of your car accident. However, you can file a personal injury claim any time you suffer injuries in a car accident, even if you do not immediately seek medical care or notice the symptoms of injury after your car accident. 

Are you dealing with delayed pain after a car accident? Contact Hutzler Law at 602-730-4530 to discuss how you can best navigate the claim process. 

How long after a car accident can you claim injury in Arizona?

The Arizona statute of limitations for personal injury claims, which governs how long after a car accident or other injury you have to file a claim, allows two years from the date of an accident to file a claim for the damages you sustained. However, in cases of injuries that caused delayed pain, you may not realize the full extent of your damages immediately. Sometimes, your lawyer can get an exemption to the statute of limitations that allows two years from the date when you realized your injuries to file a claim. 

While exemptions do exist that can extend the statute of limitations, you should move forward with an injury claim as soon as possible to protect your right to compensation and ensure that evidence related to your claim does not disappear before you have a chance to claim fair compensation for your losses. 

Insurance Companies vs Delayed Pain Injuries

After a car accident, it is an insurance company’s duty to cover all expenses for injuries and property damage caused by the at-fault driver. Of course, insurance companies stay in business by trying to minimize the number and size of claim settlements they pay out. This means that they are constantly looking for opportunities to pay less, and of course, to avoid fraudulent claims.

Delayed pain injuries are particularly disliked by insurance companies because they increase the size of a necessary medical expenses claim and some delayed pain claims are false – people adding injuries that happened after an accident instead of injuries with late-appearing symptoms.

This is why a skilled lawyer is essential to both prove that your injury is related to the accident and fight for your right to a full and complete settlement that covers all your medical expenses.

Contact Hutzler Law for Delayed Pain After a Car Accident

No one should have to face the process of injury recovery and fight insurance agencies on their own after a car accident. The Phoenix car accident attorneys of Huzler Law are dedicated to defending the rights of each and every person who has been injured in an accident, whether your injuries are immediately apparent or the pain is delayed and only realized days or weeks later.

Hutzler Law is a Top-Rated Phoenix personal injury law firm that helps victims of accidents and injuries recover and get the compensation they deserve. Reach out for a consultation by calling 602-730-4530 or contact us through our online form. We are here to help.

Author Photo

Jason Hutzler

Jason Hutzler is the founding partner of Phoenix personal injury law firm Hutzler Law, and represents individuals throughout Arizona. His practice is primarily dedicated to personal injury and car accident claims, leveraging his deep expertise as a former insurance adjustor to navigate the complexities of insurance negotiations.

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