You may have felt lucky after your car accident because you seemingly walked away without a scratch. You didn’t even go to the doctor because you weren’t feeling any discomfort. But now it is a day or two later, and your body isn’t feeling right. This is a common occurrence in car accidents because they can cause damage to the body that isn’t immediately apparent. If you experience any of the symptoms listed below or any other sensations of discomfort or pain, you should go to urgent care or ER for an evaluation.
What Are the Six Most Common Post-accident Symptoms?
You may experience the sudden or gradual onset of symptoms after a car accident, even if you felt fine at the time. Any of these could be signs of a major issue and should prompt a visit to a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment:
- Abdominal pain: May indicate internal bleeding and requires immediate medical care. Can be accompanied by bruising, nausea, dizziness, and fainting.
- Back pain: Sprains or injuries to the spine or soft tissue of the back can cause swelling and misalignment that may result in delayed back pain.
- Behavioral changes: Changes in mood or personality can be signs of an undiagnosed brain injury. They may also indicate PTSD resulting from the traumatic experience of the collision.
- Headaches: While a headache could be a minor inconvenience, it could also be caused by a brain bleed, concussion, neck injury, or another serious medical issue. You should always get examined by a doctor immediately if you experience head pain after an accident.
- Neck stiffness: Similar to back pain, neck pain can be a sign of spinal damage or injuries to the soft tissue. Whiplash is a common cause of delayed symptoms after car accidents.
- Tingling or loss of sensation: Pinched nerves or nerve damage from whiplash or other spinal injuries can cause numbness and tingling.
Why Don’t Some Injuries Appear Right Away?
There are many reasons why your injuries may not be apparent at the time of the accident, and you may not experience the onset of symptoms until later. The most straightforward explanation is that some injuries don’t cause harm immediately. Internal bleeding often cannot be felt until it starts causing secondary issues, and blot clots frequently don’t cause a problem until they dislodge and move somewhere more harmful, like the lungs or brain. Damaged tissues can also swell over time, causing dangerous pressure and further injury.
Another primary reason for delayed symptoms is the role of adrenaline in masking pain sensations. In stressful or traumatic situations, our brain protects us by releasing adrenaline, so we can fight or flee from danger despite our potential injuries. This means we may not recognize the damage to our bodies until much later once the adrenaline has worn off. This applies to the mental effects of a car crash as well. When someone is focused on surviving a crash and dealing with the intense aftermath, they may not have time to process their emotions. Once life becomes more normal again, they will often find themselves struggling to deal with the mental trauma the crash inflicted.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Recover Compensation for Your Injuries?
If you did not seek a medical evaluation after an accident because you felt ok and didn’t have any apparent injuries, the insurance company might fight your claim if you say you developed symptoms later that required medical care. They may say the crash did not cause the injuries, or the damages weren’t as serious as you claim because you didn’t get immediate medical help. Our personal injury attorneys understand that delayed injuries are common and can still be severe and even life-threatening. We believe you deserve full compensation for the harm and expense they caused. We will help you build a case to get the damages you are entitled to through a thorough investigation and the medical opinions of experts if needed. Contact our office today at 303-500-1376 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.