How Long Should I Watch for Injuries After a Car Accident?

profile photo
By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Not all accident injuries are immediately noticeable, which of course includes injuries sustained in car accidents. In many cases, an injury can take days – even weeks – to fully manifest itself, and some initial symptoms may be characterized as mild when they are not. In many cases, this can lead a person to wonder if this may delay or compromise the process of obtaining compensation.

Although some people may find it prudent to wait for the pain or symptoms of an injury to subside before seeking, some hoping that they will go away on their own, it is important to remember that this decision can come at the cost of any compensation you decide to seek in the future.

Whether or not you have immediate symptoms, it is essential that you see a doctor within 72 hours of the accident, as this is the time frame that many insurers consider “reasonable” for any serious injury you may have sustained to be properly treated. Waiting too long can give an insured an argument to downplay your claim, claiming if they have not sought treatment immediately, that means your injury is not as serious (and as deserving of compensation) as you claim.

Similarly, if you frequently miss your medical appointments, or if you do not follow your treatments properly, the defendant’s insurer might try to argue that your injuries are not that serious.

For some people, the symptoms of injury only become noticeable days after the accident. Regardless of when you identify possible symptoms, it is important to be aware of any discomfort during the first six weeks after your accident, as any symptoms that appeared or persist during this time could indicate the persistence or development of a serious injury that requires medical attention . Some late or persistent symptoms to watch for include:

  • Pain anywhere in the body
  • Stiff neck or shoulders
  • Tingling, numbness, or weakness in the arms or legs.
  • Difficulty or pain when moving
  • Recurring or constant headaches
  • Memory problems, fatigue and sleepiness
  • Vision or hearing problems
author photo
About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.