Don’t Downplay Injuries, Get Advice From A Lawyer After a Minor Car Accident

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By Marcus Fernandez

A lawyer for a minor car accident isn’t needed, right? You may not think so. You feel okay and have no visible signs of an injury, but even minor collisions can cause severe and sometimes life-threatening injuries. 

The experienced car accident lawyers at KFB Law understand that you don’t want to overreact and make a big deal out of a minor accident, but your injuries could be a big deal. This blog explains why a medical examination by a doctor immediately after a car accident, followed by a consultation with a personal injury lawyer at KFB Law, can ensure your physical well-being and protect your rights to recover compensation from the at-fault party.

Hidden injuries from minor car accidents

It’s a common scenario that could occur anywhere you drive in Florida: You’re stopped at an intersection waiting for a traffic light to change to green when a motorist reading a text message looks up at the last minute and crashes into the rear of your car. Other than damage to your car, you believe you escaped without any injuries, but you’re wrong.

You wake up the next day with stiffness and severe pain in the neck and upper back instead of feeling better over the next few days. When you finally see a doctor, you’re told the “minor” accident caused damage to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your neck and back, causing a condition the doctor says is commonly called whiplash. 

Whiplash may take days for symptoms to develop. Unfortunately, it can be a debilitating condition that can take weeks or months to heal. Depending on the severity of the damage, you could be unable to work while recovering.

Common symptoms of whiplash injury include the following:

  • Neck and upper back pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion.
  • Headaches.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Numb or tingling sensation radiating down arms.
  • Fatigue. 

The force of a rear-end collision often causes the sudden movement of a person’s head, resulting in whiplash injury.

Another serious injury that may not be immediately apparent after a car accident is head injuries, including concussions. Collisions happen so suddenly that a rush of adrenaline often masks injuries initially.

What may appear to be a minor bump of your head against a steering wheel, side window, or door frame may be a severe and potentially life-altering injury. Concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury or TBI.

A TBI can occur with a bump or blow to the head or by the head moving suddenly and forcefully. A crash can make your head move with such force as to cause brain movement within the skull. A blow to the interior of the skull can injure the brain, resulting in a TBI. Car accidents are a leading cause of TBIs according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

TBIs range in severity from mild to moderate to severe. Symptoms may include the following depending on the severity of the damage to the brain:

  • Worsening headache.
  • Impaired vision in one or both eyes.
  • Vomiting and nausea.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Seizures.
  • Enlarged pupils.
  • Loss of consciousness.

TBIs can cause long-term physical and mental impairment. Occupants of a car involved in an accident should see a physician as soon as possible.

What to do when involved in a minor car accident

If you’re involved in a minor car accident, stay at the scene and call the police. Florida law requires the drivers of vehicles involved in an accident to immediately report it to the police when someone has been injured or killed or when damage estimates to cars or other property is $500 or more. Other things you should do include:

  • Check yourself for injuries.
  • Exchange license and vehicle information with other drivers.
  • Use the camera on your phone to take photos of the scene and each vehicle, including pictures of the damage done to each.
  • Obtain the names and contact information of witnesses to the accident.

Refrain from talking to the other driver about the cause of the crash or the extent of your injuries. Instead, arrange for an examination by your doctor before contacting an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer who knows personal injury laws and can determine whether you have a right to recover compensation from the party responsible for causing the crash.

Learn about your rights from KFB Law

Minor car accidents can cause serious injuries. Let the Tampa car accident lawyers at KFB Law protect and enforce your right to obtain compensation from the negligent and careless driver responsible for harming you. Contact KFB Law today for a free consultation and case evaluation.