The understandable desire for anyone involved in a car wreck is to get back to normal as soon as possible. Unfortunately for many Georgia crash victims, the process takes longer than for others. Identifying and understanding the full extent of damages is a critical component of settling insurance claims after an accident. Significant injuries often come from what initially appear to be minor fender benders, and getting the proper diagnosis helps prevent crash victims from being short-changed in their insurance settlements.
While some types of injuries are immediately obvious after a crash, others take time to fully reveal themselves. A broken bone can be diagnosed immediately with an x-ray, but a muscle tear or bulging spinal disc require more sophisticated diagnostic procedures and a longer period of clinical monitoring before definitive diagnosis. Some symptoms can have multiple causes ranging from minor to life-threatening. For example, a post-traumatic headache can be caused by a concussion with bleeding on the brain, or it can be caused by strained neck muscles and ligaments that will resolve in a few days to a month.
It is very common for accident victims to experience the onset of pain in the days following a crash even if they feel nothing at the accident scene. Football players are frequently sorer in the 24-48 hours following a game than right afterward, and this is also true for anyone in a motor vehicle collision. Doctors typically treat the most common auto crash injuries very conservatively for up to six weeks, at which point they may authorize additional tests to get an accurate diagnosis.
In order to ensure full and fair compensation after a motor vehicle accident, victims should get an accurate prognosis of all physical damages and medical expenses. Consulting a qualified accident and injury lawyer may also benefit the victim.