Car crash victims in California are encouraged to wait until they know the extent of their injuries before they settle their claim and sign a release of liability form with the other side’s insurance company. The reason is that some injuries will take several days or weeks to appear. Certain symptoms will alert victims to their presence.

For instance, headaches, depending on their severity, can point to a concussion, a blood clot, whiplash or even depression. Whiplash symptoms can also include neck, shoulder and lower back pain. Back pain by itself may denote a sprain, muscle damage or a herniated disc.

Neck and shoulder pain may be the result of a herniated disc as well. This condition will also lead to weakness in the limbs, tingling and numbness as the disc pushes against a nerve or pinches it. Crash victims may have also suffered from abdominal trauma, which may give rise to internal bleeding. Symptoms will include abdominal pain, deep bruising in the affected area, dizziness and headaches. There can b eemotional effects of a crash. Victims, especially those who have been disfigured by their injuries, may suffer from depression. Others may develop a phobia of driving or experience post-traumatic stress disorder. Still others who incurred a brain injury may undergo a personality change.

Regardless of the extent of their injuries, crash victims may pursue a personal injury case since California is an at-fault state. The process can be difficult, though, which is why having the help of a lawyer is advisable. Most personal injury lawyers have a network of third parties, such as crash investigators and medical professionals, who can help with a case. A lawyer may be able to handle all negotiations with the negligent driver’s auto insurance company, taking the case to court if a settlement offer is inadequate.