How To Protect Your Rights When Injuries Seem Minor

At many accident scenes the injuries seem minor. Sometimes no injuries are even apparent. After a car accident, drivers and passengers may walk away. A slip and fall may leave what looks like just a little bruise. Small aches may be just what they feel like, minor irritants that will go away. But they may be signs of a more serious problem to come.

A simple neck strain can turn into problems in the upper back. Slight headaches may mask serious head injuries. Internal injuries may not be noticed at first.

Weeks or even months may pass before these more serious problems are identified. So it’s important to protect your rights after an accident, even if your injuries seem minor or you think you were not hurt. That way, if problems get worse, you’ll still have a chance to recover for medical bills, lost wages and other losses you incur. Here are some steps you should take to protect your rights after an accident.

• Be careful what you say about your injuries. Things you say at the accident scene and elsewhere can be used against you later. So avoid saying things like “I wasn’t hurt,” until all the facts about your injuries are known.

• Get a prompt exam by your doctor. Your doctor can evaluate the extent of any injuries and identify those that may not be immediately known.

Be sure to tell your doctor everything that hurts you from the accident, no matter how minor you think it is. Your doctor’s office is not the place to display a tough image and fail to tell him or her about pain and discomfort you think is too small to complain about.

• Keep a diary or other written record of pain and other symptoms you feel at any time.

• Don’t sign anything or settle your case too early. While acting fast to preserve your claim, don’t let anyone pressure you into a quick settlement. A strategy often used by insurance companies is to try to get you to settle early for a small amount of money and to release all claims, including those you don’t know about yet. The insurance company hopes you will accept the small settlement offer. This helps them avoid paying larger damages to compensate you fully for injuries that may not appear until later.

• Call our law firm. We can advise you about all the kinds of injuries that may not be apparent at first. We can also advise you on other steps to take to protect yourself in case of injuries with delayed symptoms.

By taking fast action, consulting your doctor, calling our law firm, and being careful not to settle too early, you can protect your rights to recover money for all your injuries after an accident, including those that do not appear until later.

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