|Posted by Injury Lawyers of Ontario on January 26, 2016
Report any injuries you suffer in an automobile accident immediately or as soon as they are noticeable. Sometimes soft tissue injuries don't present themselves with obvious symptoms until you wake up the next day and are unable to turn your head or even get out of bed. Soft tissue injuries like torn ligaments and cartridge don't repair themselves and can require expensive orthopedic surgery to repair them.
While seeking medical attention immediately following an automobile accident is important, it's just as critical to seek medical attention as soon as the symptoms of your soft tissue injury comes to your attention. Insurance companies, knowing that soft tissue injuries may not present themselves for days after a motor vehicle accident has occurred, place a time limit within which you need to report your injury and make a claim.
Here are some signs to look for when you wake up the day after your accident that may indicate you have suffered a soft tissue injury.
1. Difficulty turning your head
2. Back pain
3. Headache or nausea
4. Joint swelling and stiffness
1. Difficulty Turning Your Head Could be Whiplash
If you are unable to turn your head without pain it may be more than a simple stiff neck. You may have suffered a serious neck or spinal injury called whiplash. Whiplash can be a chronic debilitating condition that causes constant pain and an inability to work. Surprisingly, most whiplash injuries occur in automobile accidents where an automobile is struck from behind by a car traveling less than 15 miles per hour. When this occurs, the body suddenly lurches forward and the head lags behind causing a hyperextension of the neck.
2. Back Pain
Waking up with a sore back could be an indication of a serious soft tissue back injury. While a blow to the head, neck or spine may fracture vertebrae and cause obvious excruciating pain, a sudden impact to the rear of a car can cause your spine to twist or hyperextend, tearing the cartilage that cushions between the vertebrae in your spine. A soft tissue whiplash injury can prevent you from working or cause you to have to work with severe pain.
3. Headache, Dizziness or Nausea
Suffering from a headache, dizziness or nausea the next day could be a sign of a serious head or neck injury. These symptoms are among the warning signs for a potential neurological disorder such as concussion or traumatic brain injury. You don't need a laceration, a bump or a bruise to your skull to indicate a head injury has occurred. Your brain is encapsulated in cerebral fluid and cushioned with soft tissue and a sudden violent impact in a motor vehicle collision or serious slip and fall accident could cause the brain to actually rattle inside your skull and become bruised. In severe cases of brain bruising, swelling and bleeding can occur causing potential permanent brain damage and death.
4. Joint Swelling and Stiffness
Shoulder joints, knee joints, and ankle joints can become dislocated or sprained and you may be preoccupied with your other more critical injuries to notice the problem. A torn knee or shoulder cartilage can cause a lifetime of pain and suffering if not attended to. Torn cartilage and strained tendons almost always require surgery to remove or repair.
Given the time-sensitive nature of submitting a claim to be compensated for medical expenses, it's critical that you understand your insurance policy and your obligations if you wish to submit a claim. In Ontario, injured persons are required to notify their automobile insurance provider within 7 days, if possible, that they wish to make a motor vehicle accident benefits claim. Talk to your insurance broker immediately following a car accident, even if you are initially not sure whether you wish to file an injury claim, so that you understand your rights and the requirements for medical evidence and proof of injury.
If you have been injured in an automobile accident in Ontario and suspect negligence on the part of the other driver, or if your claim for 'no fault' accident benefits has been denied by your insurance company, please give Injury Lawyers of Ontario (ILO) a call. An experienced personal injury lawyer can provide informed advice on whether a motor vehicle accident claim or negligence suit (or both) is your optimal approach for injury compensation. Our team of experienced and compassionate car accident lawyers can assist you in getting the compensation you deserve from your insurer or a negligent party. ILO lawyers have successfully represented many accident victims in insurance disputes when their insurer denied, cancelled or shortchanged injured policyholders on their rightful benefits.
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