In Chicago and throughout Illinois, distracted drivers, people who consume alcohol before getting behind the wheel, sleepy motorists and reckless drivers who disregard traffic laws place you at risk when you travel by motor vehicle or as a pedestrian. If a motor vehicle hits you, it’s critical to obtain immediate medical attention. It’s equally important to closely monitor your condition in the days and weeks that follow a collision and to seek additional medical help if certain symptoms arise.
If your head strikes a hard surface inside your vehicle upon impact in a collision, a resulting injury (such as a laceration, bump or bruise) might be immediately apparent. Some injuries, however, remain hidden for hours or days, until delayed symptoms begin to surface. Such symptoms are often the sign of a severe internal injury, such as organ damage, brain injury or spinal cord injuries.
Don’t delay in seeking medical attention for these symptoms after a collision
It’s common to feel pain, discomfort and anxiety following a motor vehicle collision. If part of your body starts to hurt that was not experiencing pain moments after the accident, it could be a sign that you have an undiagnosed injury. The following list includes symptoms that merit immediate medical attention when they occur after a car accident:
- Difficulty rousing from sleep
- Headache or facial pain
- Abdominal pain
- Slurred speech
- Unsteady gait when walking
- Weakness, numbness or tingling in arms, legs, hands or feet
- Erratic emotions, including anger, weeping, hysterical laughter, etc.
- Lack of appetite
- A foul taste in your mouth
Many of the symptoms listed here are present in patients who have suffered traumatic brain injuries following a motor vehicle collision. It’s important to inform a physician that you’ve been in a car accident, so that he or she knows what tests to run to rule out or confirm internal injuries.
Illinois law allows two years to seek restitution for damages
When another driver has caused a collision in Chicago, Peoria, Springfield or other Illinois roadway due to negligence, a civil court can hold him or her accountable. State law allows a recovering accident victim to file a personal injury claim within two years of the date upon which injuries occurred. When the court awards compensation for damages, it is known as “restitution.”
Many people have used their awards to offset medical bills and other expenses associated with the collisions that caused their injuries. This is another reason why it’s so important to seek medical attention if symptoms arise. Doing so creates documentation of your injuries, which comes in handy down the line, if you decide to pursue a claim in court.