Decline a medical check and risk long-term neck or back pain

Several crash-related injuries could remain hidden for hours, days or even weeks. Therefore, it is never a good idea to decline a trip to the hospital after a car accident. Crash victims nationwide, including Louisiana, are prevented from pursuing financial relief through the civil justice system. This could happen because they have no medical documents to link injuries and expenses to the motor vehicle accident.

Whiplash

Whiplash is mainly linked to car accidents that cause the heads of vehicle occupants to snap back and forth with force at the impact of a collision. The long-term consequences are varied, and the more the following signs occur, the more serious would be the effect:

  • Shoulder and neck stiffness
  • Neck pain
  • Fatigue and dizziness
  • Ringing noise in the ears
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Blurred vision
  • Pain during head movement

When several of these red flags are present, the doctor would likely order an MRI or x-rays to check for suspected dislocations, fractures or injuries to soft tissues.

Back pain

While whiplash pain is limited to the shoulders and upper area of the back, the impact of the crash could cause lower or mid back pain. It could be muscle injuries, which typically recover sooner; however, if the damage is done to the tissues that surround the spine, or the spine itself, the resulting pain could become chronic. Ultimately, the victim’s life would be adversely affected if the condition is left untreated.

Damage to soft tissue

Soft tissue injuries affect ligaments, tendons and nerves, and in some cases, muscle damage also occurs in car accidents. These injuries could result from whiplash causing mild strains and sprains to muscle and tendon fibers suffering micro-tears. It could affect the accident victim’s back, arms and shoulders. Soft tissue injuries are not visible on x-rays or other medical equipment and are often identified by doctors during physical examinations.

Legal options

The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Louisiana is one year. That means accident victims can assess over time whether their medical expenses, lost wages and other damages justify seeking recovery. However, those who declined a trip to medical facilities after motor vehicle accidents might not have the necessary medical proof to make viable claims.

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