In this age of distracted and other types of negligent driving, the chances of becoming involved in a car crash are significant. In spite of the expectation that a serious injury would be readily apparent, in many cases, serious problems, such as back injuries, may take several days -- or longer -- to manifest. For this reason, victims of California car accidents are encouraged to delay signing any forms from the at-fault driver's insurance provider without consulting with legal counsel.
A car crash does not need to involve high speeds in order to cause serious injuries. Though broken bones will be obvious, injuries to the spinal cord or soft tissues may take days or weeks to fully manifest. In some cases, a mild case of suspected whiplash can develop into symptoms of a herniated disc or a pinched nerve. There are other physical signs that may point to a more serious injury.
A persistent or severe headache could indicate a trauma such as a soft tissue injury in the neck or back. It could even be a sign of a closed head injury or post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of both the physical ordeal and the psychological reaction to a traumatizing event. Numbness or tingling in one or more limbs can also point to a possible spinal cord injury. Lower back pain can also result from even a low-speed crash that causes damage to the lumbar area.
It is recommended that a victim of a car crash refrain from signing any release of liability forms from another party's insurance company without consulting with separate legal counsel. Instead, an injured person may obtain a thorough medical exam from a provider who will be able to ascertain the extent of any back injuries as well as the expected recovery times and possible costs for receiving appropriate treatment. Once an injured party has a better understanding of the extent of his or her injuries, an experienced personal injury attorney can help pursue recovery of monetary damages through California's civil justice system.