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Symptoms to Watch for if You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident

A car accident can cause a significant disruption in your life. Arranging for repairs to your vehicle and finding alternative means of transportation are inconveniences, but there are many ways in which the physical and psychological effects of an automobile accident can impact your life.

If you’ve been in a car accident, it is important to see a doctor right away. You should also consult with a personal injury lawyer who can help by preparing your claim and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Impacts of a Car Accident 

Even a simple fender-bender can impact your daily routine a fair bit. Depending how severe the collision was, you may not be able to drive your car because of your injuries and/or need for vehicle repairs. This could result in your missing work, school or other activities, including your family responsibilities. A personal injury lawyer can help assist you in properly documenting these losses to ensure you are compensated for lost earnings and out of pocket expenses.

Sometimes it’s only after you have called the police, exchanged information with the other party and reported the accident that you realize you aren’t feeling quite right. You may experience any number of physical symptoms, such as:

  • Headaches;
  • Neck or shoulder pain or stiffness;
  • Back pain;
  • Abdominal Pain or Swelling;
  • Numbness;
  • Impaired thinking, memory or movement;
  • Impaired vision or hearing;

There is also a potential to develop psychological symptoms. Left untreated, these symptoms can lead to personality changes, depression, and/or post-traumatic stress disorder.

All these injuries can range in severity from mild effects that may cause minimal disruption to your life to severe, life-altering effects. Even if you initially feel fine following a car accident, it is important to see a doctor who can assess you. The effect of some injuries may not become evident until days or weeks past the accident. 

Delayed On-Set of Injury Symptoms

While many injuries from a car accident will be readily apparent, some injuries appear or worsen over time. Whiplash is a common injury after a car accident that often does not develop until 24 hours or more after the initial trauma. Other injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, may not emerge until weeks or months following the accident.

For example, in Pike v. Kasiri, 2016 BCSC 555 the defendant, Mr. Kasiri, drove his vehicle through a red light striking the vehicle driven by the plaintiff, Mr. Pike. At the time of the accident, Mr. Pike was 33 years old, working as a plumber and playing highly competitive baseball. At the time of the trial, some five-and-a-half years after the accident, Mr. Pike was in considerable pain that made him unable to work as a plumber or live an active life, causing his relationships and personal life to suffer.

While the defendant admitted liability for the car accident, he disputed how much he should be required to pay for damages. Part of the reason the defendant disputed damages was that Mr. Pike resumed work shortly following the accident, and then after taking additional months often, returned to work a second time before leaving work permanently. The defendant therefore claimed the losses suffered by Mr. Pike were unrelated to the accident.

The amount of damages claimed by the plaintiff and proposed by the defendant were vastly different. For non-pecuniary damages, compensation for general pain and suffering, Mr. Pike sought an amount of $225,000 while the defendant countered proposing $15,000 to $35,000. For loss of future earning, the plaintiff claimed for an amount between $1 million and $1.3 million, while the defendant proposed the loss was just $94,500. For costs of future care, Mr. Pike sought nearly $300,000 while the defendant proposed no damages be awarded in this category. Ultimately the trial judge sided heavily in favour with the plaintiff, awarding over $1 million in total compensation.

Even though Mr. Pike’s injuries did not appear immediately, with the help of his counsel Mr. Pike was able to show that his life was impacted by the accident. The trial counsel put forward an aggressive strategy, calling 11 witnesses including experts including orthopedic surgeons, a psychiatrist, an occupational therapist and an economist. With the help of these expert witnesses, Mr. Pike and his lawyer demonstrated that the accident caused his injuries and quantified the emotional and economic losses that followed. 

Call Kenneth Cristall Law, Car Accident Lawyers in Vancouver and Surrounding Areas

If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, contact us. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers at Kenneth Cristall Law will help you get the compensation that’s fair. We have satellite offices to meet you in Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Langley, Surrey, Coquitlam and New Westminster. A car accident lawyer is available to serve you right away, call now at 604-654-2250.

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