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When your cross-border personal injury takes a turn for the worse

Vehicle accidents are generally traumatic experiences, and this could be even worse if you happen to be involved in a crash while on a visit from British Columbia to Washington State. The fact that this happened across the border could complicate matters considerably. Not only will two jurisdictions be involved, but you may have to deal with the insurance policies and legal systems of two different countries.

Sometimes, when there are no obvious broken bones or gushing blood, car accident victims think they are uninjured. However, soft tissue or musculoskeletal injuries which are invisible may become evident days or even weeks later. If this happens to you when you are back home from your visit, how would you go about recovering medical expenses and other damages?

Delayed symptoms

Emotional disorientation and mental trauma might have prevented you from realizing that the whiplash motion that you experienced when another motor vehicle smashed into yours caused internal damage. However, as time goes on, you might recognize some of the following delayed symptoms that could cause long-term health problems if left untreated:

  • Headache — Headaches that start days after a collision could indicate conditions such as concussion, a brain injury that involves a blood clot or a serious neck injury.
  • Shoulder or neck stiffness or pain — This is one of the most common consequences of whiplash injuries.
  • Back pain — If you experience back pain, it could indicate damage done to ligaments, muscles or nerves. However, it could also be a sign of vertebrae damage.
  • Abdominal swelling or pain — This could be a sign of internal bleeding. You should also look out for large bruised areas in a deep purple colour, feelings of dizziness or even feinting. Undiscovered internal bleeding can be fatal.
  • Numbness — If the accident caused damage to your neck or your spinal column, you might experience numbness in your hands or arms.
  • Altered personality — Traumatic brain injury can cause problems with memory, thought processes, movement, hearing and vision. It could also cause depression and personality changes.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder — Vivid, disturbing memories and nightmares often bring back the traumatic experience in the form of flashbacks, preventing you from moving forward after a car accident.

Any of these symptoms — or a combination of several — could lead to health problems, accompanied by mounting medical bills. If your accident occurred across the border, and your health concerns become evident days or weeks after your return, you might have questions about the recovery of damages. Can you file a personal injury lawsuit, and where would you file it? Fortunately, a British Columbia lawyer who focuses on cross-border personal injury claims is there to provide the necessary support and guidance throughout this challenging time.