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Delayed symptoms make fast settlements unwise

New Yorkers involved in an auto collision are usually motivated to get their insurance claims settled as quickly as possible. In most instances, adjusters and insurance lawyers are happy to oblige if victims are willing to quickly sign away their rights to sue in the immediate aftermath of a crash. While a fast settlement may be tempting, it is typically prudent to wait and make sure there are no lingering effects from a collision before considering a final settlement.

Some injuries, such as broken bones or lacerations, are immediately obvious after a traumatic event such as a car crash. Other injuries are more subtle and take time to fully manifest themselves. Pain and soreness after a crash may be revealed in the days after the incident. Just as the morning after a backyard football game can reveal pain, so can the day or two after a crash. Soft tissue injuries, which is the category of injury involving every part of the body that is not a bony mass, are usually treated very conservatively for at least six weeks. Doctors and insurance companies often delay expensive testing that can reveal permanent damage until after rest, physical therapy, and temporary pain management is shown to be ineffective.

Post-traumatic headaches can be caused by a number of factors. A blow to the head can cause a concussion and resultant headaches, but so can whiplash-type injuries that strain the neck and cause the brain to be impacted against the cranium. Muscle tears and bulging discs are often confused with minor injuries having similar initial symptoms like deep bruises or contusions. Time and diagnostic testing are required to properly diagnose many such injuries.

Car wrecks are, at a minimum, a major inconvenience. Crash victims may be well-served by resisting the impulse for a quick settlement and consulting a qualified motor vehicle accident attorney to protect themselves and make sure they receive fair compensation for all damages.

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