When you have been in a car accident, you can be affected in many ways. The severity of the accident is one factor that can affect your physical and emotional condition. Even in a very minor collision, the shock you experience can cause lingering problems. Individuals who have been in car crashes often experience disorientation or a sort of mental “fog” that can last for an indeterminate time after the accident occurs. Some suffer devastating physical injuries that are immediately obvious and require medical attention, but, at times, the injuries are not visible.
What to Be on the Lookout For
It can sometimes take days for internal injuries to become noticeable, so it is vital to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a car accident, even if you feel fine. Sometimes the adrenaline rush from the accident alone can give an individual a false sense of well-being, even if there are major internal injuries. Some of the delayed injury symptoms you may experience include:
- Although post-traumatic stress disorder is something we often associate with soldiers who have been in combat, the same type of emotional trauma can affect accident victims, especially children. If you are experiencing nightmares, vivid memories, and flashbacks that make it seem like the accident is still happening, it may indicate PTSD.
- Traumatic brain injury. These injuries are often marked by changes in personality, poor memory, impaired thinking, depression, and problems with vision, movement, or hearing. The injury usually starts with a concussion and evolves into these other symptoms. When not treated, TBIs can be fatal.
- Be very cautious of headaches that arise within days after an accident, as they may indicate more serious issues such as concussion, neck and head injuries, or even blood clots.
- Swelling or pain in the abdomen. Life-threatening conditions may arise from pain and swelling in the abdomen, which may take days to manifest. Be aware of any bruising, and don’t dismiss feeling dizzy or fainting. Abdominal injuries may involve internal bleeding, which can be very dangerous if not treated immediately by medical professionals.
- Shoulder or neck pain or stiffness. These seemingly minor aches and pains may be a sign of whiplash, a common delayed symptom injury from vehicle crashes, especially rear-end collisions. You may need an MRI, CT scan, or x-ray to properly diagnose this condition.
- If you lose feeling in your arms or hands, it could indicate an injury to the spinal column or neck. This is another symptom of whiplash that should not go ignored.
- Back pain. Pain that shows up in the back after a car accident can be related to a variety of injuries. It may indicate damage to the nerves, ligaments, or muscles in the back, but in some cases, one may have suffered fractured vertebrae. A physician must assess any back injuries to ensure proper medical care and recovery.
What to Do Next
If you have been involved in an accident and started experiencing symptoms of injuries after several days, act quickly. Even if you were evaluated at the hospital just after the accident, you may have sustained injuries that were not immediately present. These injuries can be just as dangerous and devastating as those that are obvious at the accident scene. Always seek medical attention if you develop any signs of whiplash or the delayed symptoms mentioned above. Doctors who have experience with car accident victims and the lingering effects they have suffered can properly diagnose your underlying injuries.
If you are diagnosed with whiplash, it is essential to begin conservative care therapy right away. This may include physical therapy, chiropractic care, and massage that typically lasts for six weeks. If you are still experiencing pain after six weeks, an interventional pain doctor may be necessary to move forward with your recovery.
Seek the Help of a Reputable Attorney
When you experience delayed injury symptoms after an automobile accident, you should always seek medical attention first. Once your injuries have been stabilized, your next step should be contacting a respected personal injury attorney who has experience in cases involving car accidents.
If you are looking for a lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve after a car accident, the Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC is here to help. We have the experience and knowledge to stand up to the insurance companies and attain the greatest settlement for your pain and suffering. Call us today at (916) 536-7586 to schedule a free consultation.