personal injury

personal injury

Up from the Wreckage: 6 Delayed Symptoms of Bodily Injury That Are Hard to Spot after a Car Accident

Car accidents are extremely dangerous for anyone involved. They are one of the biggest killers of human lives every day. Fatal accidents and severe injuries are not uncommon. Another important cause of death is undiagnosed injuries because no one notices them.

Simply put, these injuries are hidden from you because you are not a medical professional. Even if you feel alright, your body is not always the best judge of an injury especially if you are stressed from the crash. You may only start to feel symptoms hours after the crash happened. If you do, these symptoms probably are pointing at potential life-changing injuries.

Why Should I Care?

Discovering hidden injuries is not always simple. The injuries could occur inside your skin so they do not show or they may happen to be chronic injuries that will become worse as time goes on. It is important to set up a medical examination immediately after the accident through a legal and health perspective. Fast medical exams can find hidden injuries at their early stages; which you may be able to cure or start your path to recovery sooner.

Legally, injury lawyers will want you to get a medical exam as early as possible because insurance companies may try to show that your injury was caused by other factors. They might argue that the accident was never responsible for the injury. If you have the medical exam right after, it will help prove that the accident was the cause. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to use the information from a medical exam to help you with your settlement.

Headaches

Headaches can have fatal implications, especially after a car crash. Headaches are common because people might be hit in their head or might suffer from whiplash without knowing it. If one is hit in the head, there could be a fracture in the skull. You may have suffered from a concussion because of the car accident. Muscle damage and nerve damage can also be causes of a headache after a car accident.

It is common for headaches to be severe and last for a long time if there is any real damage to your neck and back. This is because your nervous system is damaged. Your brain is one of the main parts of the system.

Someone could also suffer a headache because of emotional stress. Crashes are traumatic for everyone because of how life threatening they are. A car accident makes people feel hopeless when the car loses control. Emotional trauma should not be overlooked as they can cause chronic symptoms to last forever.

Neck or Shoulder Pain

Whiplash is considered the most classic example of a hidden symptom. While whiplash can happen anywhere, most people link the word to car accidents for good reason. When a car is moving at the speed a car usually does and comes to an abrupt stop, it is normal for a human’s neck to snap back because of the interaction between inertia and the seatbelt.

You will want to get an X-ray if you are feeling any neck pain. Whiplash involves muscles that could have been torn or strained. Without proper professional expertise, it could take a very long time before the pain goes away.

Back Pain

The same way a neck gets injured in a car accident, the back can also be subject to an intense amount of force because of the relationship between inertia and the seatbelt. Your body just is not designed for that much force to be exerted onto it.

Back pain can be caused by multiple reasons. You might have hurt the muscles in your back. They may have stretched too much in the accident and have been damaged as a result. Back pain may also be the result of a spine injury. Your spine is very important because it acts as the central nervous system in your body.

Damage to the spine can create chronic pain that will affect you for the rest of your life. It is hard to help the spine recover because there are many cells in the spine that are very unique and cannot divide themselves to create new ones. Spine damage can also deteriorate to the point you will stop being able to use parts of your body because of paralysis.

Spinal cords may also be injured because whiplash can damage discs. Your chord is held by multiple intervertebral discs that act as a cushion for a shock. It helps the brain and your spinal cord receive less damage. Sometimes, the shock is so great that the compositions of the discs touch the nerves in your cord. This can cause pain and even create other impaired nerve symptoms.

Stomach Pain and Swelling

These symptoms include your abdominal system. You may not have realized that you were hit in the area during the car accident. There are many vital organs in the abdominal area so any of them could be injured.

Diarrhea and pain could be a sign that your digestive system was greatly injured. These symptoms could also be caused by stress too. It is always better to check why these symptoms are happening with a CT scan.

If your stomach feels swollen or seems to be swelling, this is usually a sign of internal bleeding. Other symptoms of internal bleeding could include deep purple bruising, dizziness and fainting. Internal bleeding is very dangerous and the fatality is further encouraged because the symptoms for internal bleeding can take a few days before they show up.

Internal bleeding happens when one of your important organs becomes punctured. The blood slowly clots up into one of the open spaces in your body. Most of your organs are near the stomach and there are a lot of cavities around there. In other words, swelling is a sign that one of your organs has already been bleeding for a while. This is why it can be so hard to self diagnose yourself when you suffered trauma to a vital organ.

Numbness

You may be feeling numb because your nervous system was injured. Whiplash does not always cause damage to the spine even when it causes nerve damage. Since whiplash is so common during car accidents, it is likely some nerves was damaged during the accident.

The nervous system in the body is so large; damage to nerves must be treated case by case. It depends where there is nerve damage and how severe the damage is. Damage could result in paralysis, numbness, pain, muscle weakness and uncontrollable movements. People have also described a tickling sensation that seems to tingle in their body. You might also find yourself feeling more sensitive to temperatures.

Emotional Symptoms

While car accidents will affect most people’s emotions, some emotional symptoms might actually be a result of very long lasting mental health issues caused by the accident. These symptoms are the hardest to catch. You might feel that you are just having an off day or they might take a while before they fully develop. Since diagnosis for these symptoms is usually so delayed, late treatment is common.

An accident could affect your energy levels. You might start to feel tired all the time or you might have difficulty sleeping. You might feel unmotivated to wake up and do activities. People can find themselves neglecting their everyday duties because they have no energy to get up.

The accident itself might seem to haunt you. Maybe you suffer from memory loss which prevents you from dealing with the accident rationally. If this is not treated, you might suddenly find yourself being triggered to remember which can cause intense panic attacks. These triggers could come in the form of flashbacks and nightmares. Some people suffer from these symptoms even when their memory isn’t lost.

Some people may even find that their personality seems to change. This could be a result of a concussion. You might feel that you easily get upset compared to before. Mood swings are a common symptom of mental diseases.

The two most common types of mental diseases are depression and PTSD. Both of these diseases can happen because of large emotional trauma. A car accident is an intense situation that can cause this trauma. Anxiety is another disease these symptoms could imply. Lots of medical attention will be needed in the form of therapy or medicine.

Staying Safe

While symptoms do not always imply the worst scenario, you should always try to prepare for the worst. It will help you get better coverage and get the settlement you deserve. These injuries could impact your life forever and the medical bills could rack up. You have to get as much help as you can to pay for those. Even though money is not a cure, everyone feels better when justice is won.

If you or a family member gets into a car accident, make sure you immediately try to find medical attention. Only a professional can detect these injuries without the symptoms and they can immediately save your life.

UK Personal Injury Consumer Research Report 2018

lawyers-1000803_1920

MAJORITY OF CLAIMS ARE VALUED AT UP TO £5,000 BUT MOST INDIVIDUALS ARE NOT HAPPY ABOUT TAKING THESE CLAIMS ON THEMSELVES

The latest consumer research findings from IRN Research show that a clear majority of claim payouts – 65% – are up to £5,000, and these would fall under the new small claims limit set to be introduced in 2020. However, only 20% of survey respondents would be happy to take on a claim on their own through the small claims court.

In particular, if individuals had to deal with the claims process themselves, there would be concerns especially about dealing with court forms, representing themselves in court, negotiating a financial settlement with the defendant.

The Personal Injury Consumer Research Report 2018 is the first in a series of new reports from IRN Research (branded as Orchard Reports) on the legal services market and offering insights into consumer behaviour, perceptions, brand awareness, and opinions. This report is based on responses from 567 consumers involved in a personal injury or clinical negligence incident.

Other headlines from the survey include:

 A majority – 55% – do not shop around when looking for a legal advisor.
 Various channels are used to find a legal representative but digital routes lead the way.
Social media seems to be becoming more important although price comparison and
consumer reviews sites have yet to generate widespread use.
 Awareness of specific claims management companies is relatively high, less so for leading
law firms. However, only one PI brand – National Accident Helpline – has an awareness
level of over 50%.
 When asked what factors would be important when selecting a legal services provider for
PI work, the top response was how much the service costs (41%).
 A clear majority – 68% – believe that more people are lodging claims than ever before
although this is out of step with the real picture, i.e. claims have been falling.
 More are in favour of fixed fees for clinical negligence cases than against.
…………and there is much more analysis/results from the 30 questions asked to
individuals. See the Contents Page on the next page for a summary of key themes
covered.

The Personal Injury Consumer Research Report 2018, and the detailed dataset of all survey results
with a demographic analysis is available directly from IRN Research, priced at £2,500 (plus VAT).
Discounts for report purchase only, dataset only, or purchases of extracts.

Through the year, there will other Consumer Research reports on conveyancing, family law, wills &
probate, employment law, consumer legal services. The discounted annual subscription to all
reports is £7,500 plus VAT, plus there are discounts for purchases of more than one report.

REPORT CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.
More regulatory and competitive pressures on their way…………………………………………………………………………….
Incidents dominated by RTAs and accidents in a public place………………………………………………………………………..
Insurers at the centre of the claims process ………………………………………………………………………………………………
Majority of pay-outs are £5,000 or less, within the proposed small claims limit………………………………………………..
Insurers, solicitors, and CMCs all active in the claims process ……………………………………………………………………….
Most claimants did not shop around for legal advice…………………………………………………………………………………..
Cost of advice is most important factor when choosing a legal advisor …………………………………………………………..
General satisfaction with the claims advice and the outcome ……………………………………………………………………….
Most individuals don’t want to take claims on by themselves……………………………………………………………………….
Direct marketing led by unsolicited phone calls………………………………………………………………………………………….
Awareness of leading CMCs is relatively high, but less so for leading law firms…………………………………………………
Claim volumes continue to fall although modest increase in market value ………………………………………………………
No sign of stability for the PI market in the future ………………………………………………………………………………………

INTRODUCTION
Overview…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Methodology ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Abbreviations………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

BACKGROUND
Key findings…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Most adults suffering an injury have done it in a road traffic accident…………………………………………………………….
Our survey says that more people are lodging claims now……………………………………………………………………………
Some would only pursue a claim if they had legal advice, others would go it alone …………………………………………..

PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS 
Key findings…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Whiplash injuries and cuts/abrasions are the main groups of injuries …………………………………………………………….
Insurers are involved in most RTA and whiplash claims………………………………………………………………………………..
Various sources used when choosing a legal advisor……………………………………………………………………………………
Most accept that whiplash is a genuine injury and claim………………………………………………………………………………
Few individuals take on a claim themselves……………………………………………………………………………………………….
Some don’t claim when injury is considered not that bad…………………………………………………………………………….
A significant group did not intend to claim but did in the end ……………………………………………………………………….
Direct marketing from the claims industry – almost half of respondents have had a call…………………………………….

CLAIMS PROCESS
Key findings…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Claimants turn to a mix of solicitors, insurers, and claims companies to settle a claim……………………………………….
Most claimants do consider the credentials of their legal advisor ………………………………………………………………….
Most claims are valued at less than £1,000 ……………………………………………………………………………………………….
Most claims are settled out of court ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Mixed views on whether claims process was simple or complicated ………………………………………………………………

CLAIMS SETTLEMENTS AND SMALL CLAIMS
Key findings…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Most pay-outs within the new small claims limit proposed from 2020 ……………………………………………………………
No win no fee deals still the most common funding method…………………………………………………………………………
Over 6 out of 10 claimants had a deduction from their final pay-out………………………………………………………………
Compensation paid – expectations met for most claimants…………………………………………………………………………..
Legal expenses insurance – likely to be part of other policies or a membership………………………………………………..
Some concerns about dealing with small claims alone, especially in court……………………………………………………….
More in favour of fixed fees for clinical negligence claims than against…………………………………………………………..

LEGAL SERVICES PROVIDERS – SELECTION AND SATISFACTION
Key findings…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Most claimants do not shop around for the best legal advisor………………………………………………………………………
Service costs and speed of service most important to claimants……………………………………………………………………
Claimant satisfaction levels are OK but room for improvement……………………………………………………………………..
Most are satisfied with the general outcome of their case but not the financial deal…………………………………………

AWARENESS AND USE OF PERSONAL INJURY BRANDS 
Key findings…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Awareness of leading claims management companies is high, less so for law firms…………………………………………..
High awareness does not always translate into high use………………………………………………………………………………
Some confusion about which brands advertise on TV………………………………………………………………………………….
Some interest in specific non-legal brands ………………………………………………………………………………………………..

MARKET TRENDS
Key findings…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Market value……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Case numbers declining in last five years…………………………………………………………………………………………………..
RTA cases account for over three-quarters of all cases but numbers falling……………………………………………………..
Claims against the NHS fall in latest year…………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Claims Portal……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Growing consolidation as law firms and CMCs leave the sector …………………………………………………………………….

FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS
Key findings…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
The PI market is bracing itself for 2020 …………………………………………………………………………………………………….
The research findings offer mixed news……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

IRN Research (trading name of IRN Consultants Ltd)

Established in 1991, IRN Research is a research agency with a focus on the legal services market.
We offer a range of research services to law firms and suppliers to the sector. Services include
client surveys, market studies, competitor intelligence, industry reports, and strategic studies.

Orchard Reports is a new series of reports from IRN Research covering the legal services sector.
The series combines IRN Research’s established Market Reports series with a new series of

Consumer Research Reports: The new series complements our existing series by offering results
and analysis from detailed proprietary consumer research.
Consumer Research Reports – based on detailed analysis of results from surveys of between 500
and 2,000 consumers (depending on topic). Each survey has between 20-30 questions.

Market Reports – each report contains market size & trends; sector structure and supplier profiles;
key market developments and issues; market drivers and obstacles; future trends and forecasts.

For further information, contact David Mort on +44(0)7905 239599 or dmort@irn-research.com.