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“What Ifs” After a Car Accident

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Being involved in an Arizona car accident may leave you wondering what is next. This is why the team at Cantor Injury Lawyers is so ready to help you in your time of need. They help their clients understand their car accident case, what they must do to ensure their best chance of a positive settlement and next steps for rebuilding their lives. 

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Below are some questions you likely have after your car accident: 

What if I did not tell the police officer I was suffering pain?

Police officers, doctors, car accident lawyers and even insurance companies know that the body’s natural reaction to crisis keeps some pain from being felt for hours or even days after the accident. Adrenaline and stress hide your injuries. But when these effects wear off, you will feel your injuries. Telling the officer, “I’m not in pain or injured, so I do not need medical attention” leads the officer to check the box on the police report that indicates you had no injury. This is common, but it is also common for the accident victim’s feelings to change. This will not harm your chance of a positive insurance claim. 

The next day I could hardly move. So can I still file an injury claim?

Feeling pain hours or days after the accident provides plenty of time for filing your claim. This is a natural response by your body, in reaction to injury. Just as telling the police officer you are uninjured after an accident does not hurt your case, realizing you are in serious pain or have injuries after the accident is okay, too. The emergency room staff will even tell you that many people go through this. They may even provide pointers on how to recognize your injuries and that they are growing worse over time.

If you suffer a life-threatening injury like brain trauma or blood clots, you may feel fine but will be kept at the hospital. Symptoms of car accident injuries often creep into effect, gradually worsening and becoming serious. Brain swelling and spinal disc swelling are some of these injuries. 

I did not feel problems with my neck or back for weeks. Then I realized I am quite injured.

This is also common, to not notice neck or back problems for a lengthy period after an accident. This is particularly true when more obvious injuries on the arms or legs occur. The brain may only register your worst injuries first. Your scrapes, abrasions, bruises and broken bones may hurt for immediate attention. You may have stiffness and achiness all over from whiplash, then weeks later an injury appears on your back or neck. 

What if I am injured by my vehicle suffered almost no damage?

There are two primary reasons why you may be injured despite your car having no real damage. These reasons include your body hitting another object inside the vehicle, or sudden changes in momentum of your body from one side to the other or front to back. This second condition is known as whiplash. Whiplash is actually sometimes deadly. These life-endangering forces jar your body’s insides and can cause significant injury. Dale Earnhardt, the NASCAR driver, died from his whiplash during a race, but his vehicle appeared only lightly damaged. On many occasions, car accidents with little damage are seen as more serious for passenger injury. In these wrecks the passenger experiences the impact energy of the collision, rather than the vehicle experiencing that impact energy. 

What if I was not wearing my seatbelt when the accident happened?

It is against the law to drive your car without your seatbelt fastened. You will receive a ticket for the first offense. Not having your seatbelt on during the wreck means the insurance company will try to assign blame for your injuries back onto you. You may be named as “partially at fault” for your injuries. This means your settlement or trial recovery amount will be reduced by a percentage, according to how much blame you are assigned. Still, having an experienced injury lawyer can help you gain the highest possible settlement despite your mistake. There are many types of injuries not preventable through wearing a seatbelt. 

What if I was wearing my seatbelt when the accident happened and my injuries still occurred?

Wearing a seatbelt is required by law. These lifesaving devices can keep you from being thrown out of your vehicle, through the windshield, into the steering wheel, against other passengers or around the vehicle as it is impacted. But because seat belt design only protects one shoulder and your waist, there are many injuries that this manner of restraint causes. For example, the increased changes in acceleration and deceleration forces on the back, neck and head cause physical rotation on the unsecured shoulder. This increases potential for serious injuries, although the seat belt still prevents other types of worse injuries and even death. There is no sure way to prevent all injuries in a car accident. 

What if I am having headaches even without having bumped my head?

Even without impacting your head against another object, you may suffer a headache after your car accident. This may mean you have a traumatic brain injury. These injuries are often caused by whiplash that occurs in a rapid change of force from acceleration to stopping. In other words, your skull moves in one direction and your brain goes in another direction. This makes your brain hit the inside of your skull, causing sheering of the outer cells on your brain. Brain tissues can be torn and displaced. These injuries often happen with no external sign of injury whatsoever. 

What if I was a passenger in a friend or family member’s car?

If your friend or family member was the driver in your car accident, do not worry about filing your claim. You need to remember that as an injured person you are entitled to the funds promised by the insurance company in its policy. This is why you need to file your claim. After all, you are not suing your friend or family member and will not be taking money from them. Instead, the money is paid by their insurance company. This is why insurance exists. You should be paid for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering and other damages.

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What if the vehicle responsible for the accident was uninsured?

If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, your insurance policy may cover your damages. This is true when you have an uninsured/underinsured motorist clause on your coverage. With uninsured motorist coverage you are compensated for your damages after the car accident caused by the motorist with no insurance. Having underinsured motorist coverage means your insurance policy makes up the gap between the at-fault driver’s low policy coverage and the amount you should be paid. 

What if my insurance rates will increase?

If you did not cause the accident, your insurance rates should not increase when you file a claim for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. But if your rates are increased, you can simply change insurance companies. Even if there is a price increase, it will be very small compared to your potential recovery. You should never avoid filing an injury claim just because you fear an insurance rate increase. This is particularly true when you have a skilled car accident representative from Cantor Injury Lawyers. 

Anytime you have been in an accident that is someone else’s fault, you need experienced legal help as soon as possible. Even with so many “what ifs” in any car accident case, the right lawyer can help you understand your legal rights. Call Cantor Injury Lawyers now at 602.254.2701 or use our online contact form for a free, no-obligation consultation. 

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