Rear-end accidents may be the most common type of motor vehicle collision, but fortunately they usually cause the least amount of harm. Indeed, many people walk away from rear-end crashes unscathed, with little more to worry about than some minor damage to their vehicle.
But while rear-end collisions may seem, and often are, innocuous, writing them off as insignificant and failing to follow up on potential injuries and damages is unwise. In fact, there are a handful of injuries that are common in a rear-end crash, some of which may not show symptoms for hours or days later. At the law offices of Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C., we recommend that you always seek medical attention after a rear-end collision, even if you don’t think that you’ve been injured. Here’s why.
- Rear-end Crashes Can Lead to Delayed Onset Injuries
Sometimes after a trauma, pain and other symptoms related to an injury will have a delayed onset, only developing after a prolonged interval of time. This can be true in rear-end car crashes, as a person may not recognize their injuries immediately due to adrenaline, or because the injuries themselves are subtle. For example, injuries that are common in a rear-end crash, and do not always have immediate side effects include:
- Head and traumatic brain injuries;
- Soft tissue injuries; and
- Disc herniation injuries.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list; it is possible to suffer another injury type and not recognize it immediately. Because some injuries are not immediately recognizable, seeking medical care should be a top priority after a crash.
- Seeking Medical Care Establishes a Connection Between Injury and Accident
Another reason that you should seek medical care after a rear-end crash is if you have suffered an injury, want to file a claim for damages to help pay for that injury, but have not sought medical care and therefore don’t have evidence to substantiate your claim. If you do not seek medical care immediately following a rear-end crash, this could harm your claim. An insurance adjuster may question that validity and extent of your injury, or wonder whether the injury is even related to the car accident since you took so much time to seek care for it.
- You Have a Duty to Mitigate Your Damages
The duty to mitigate damages essentially means that a plaintiff in an injury claim has a duty to lessen or make less severe the extent of damages they have suffered. For example, if you suffer a broken leg and a doctor tells you to stay off the leg for two weeks to maximize healing, you have a duty to do this to avoid further injury. If you don’t follow a doctor’s orders and your leg fails to heal or suffers more harm, an insurance adjuster may use your failure to mitigate damages as a defense. The same is true for potential injuries in a rear-end crash; if you are hurt and want to recover compensation but did not seek medical care or did not do so in a timely manner, there may be an argument made by the defense that you breached your duty to mitigate your damages, and therefore their own liability should be reduced.
Seek Medical Care and Call Our Virginia Rear-end Accident Attorneys Today
Being involved in a car accident, even one that doesn’t result in severe or catastrophic damages, can be a stressful experience that yields numerous questions about what happens next. At the law offices of Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C., our experienced rear-end accident attorneys in Virginia can help you resolve your claim following a rear-end crash. However, it is imperative that you seek medical care as soon as you can after your accident – this can help to protect your health and improve the outcome of your claim. To schedule a consultation with our accident attorneys, please call us today at 703-361-1555, or stop by our Manassas office in person today!