After a car accident, you’re confused and overwhelmed. Your adrenaline is pumping, and you’re probably more worried about your passengers or about damage to your car than about yourself. And when there are no obvious injuries, you may walk away assuming you’re okay. But after car accident symptoms can often show up days or even weeks later.
Below, we discuss what types of injuries may have delayed symptoms and what you should do to protect your rights. To learn more, speak to car accident lawyer at The Law Offices of Loren Scott Etengoff.
Your Injuries Could Be More Serious Than You Think
Although trauma such as serious fractures and cuts are usually immediately apparent, other injuries are not as easy to see. You may have suffered a concussion or whiplash and be unaware of it at the time of your accident. What you may dismiss as a minor ache in your neck may turn out to be a herniated disc that will have an ongoing impact on your health.
It’s therefore important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after a crash, even if you don’t see after car accident symptoms right away. Emergency medical personnel and even your primary care physician will know what to look for when they’re evaluating you after a car accident.
Common After Car Accident Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore
Minor aches and pains can be a sign of a more serious underlying problem. It’s important to look out for these symptoms in particular:
- Headache – Pain in your head or dizziness can indicate a concussion or injury to your neck. In severe cases, a blood clot or other extreme condition may exist. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is common after a car accident, and can have far-reaching or even life-threatening consequences.
- Back Pain – This could be a symptom of spinal injury, sprain, herniated disc, or soft tissue injury. Such injuries can be difficult diagnose.
- Neck and Shoulder Pain – Whiplash is one of the most common injuries after a car accident, but it is often overlooked. Many folks think it will go away on its own, but it can cause ongoing health and mobility problems.
- Numbness or Radiating Pain – If you experience stinging, prickling, or numbness after a car accident, you may have pinched a nerve or herniated a disc. This can lead to paralysis and other serious conditions if left untreated.
- Stomach Pain – Stomach pain can be a sign of internal bleeding or something more serious. If you experience nausea, this should be reported to a doctor as soon as possible.
- Emotional Pain and Suffering – Once the chaos of a car accident subsides, you may experience ongoing emotional issues, such as depression and anxiety. These conditions need to be treated and can be compensated as any other injury.
Traumatic Brain Injuries and Concussions
Some of the most common injuries with delayed symptoms are TBIs and concussions. Although TBIs can be life-threatening, most do not require emergency surgery or ICU treatment. It’s important to know, however, that even a mild TBI can have a huge impact on your long-term health. Common TBI symptoms include:
- Ringing in the ears
- Blurred vision
- Memory problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood changes
- Changes in the sleeping pattern
- Balance issues
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries, such as bruises, may not show up until days after an accident as well. It is common to damage muscles, tendons, and ligaments without being aware of it. These soft tissue injuries can have a serious impact on your ability to perform daily activities and work as normal.
Medical Records Will Be Valuable Evidence in Your Claim
Medical records and doctors’ notes serve as important evidence when it comes to submitting your claim to the insurance adjuster and seeking compensation. It’s therefore crucial that you seek medical treatment as soon as possible after a crash. Your doctors will be able to document your earliest after car accident symptoms, which you can later link to the car crash.
Doing this will help you combat some of the challenges that may arise if an insurance company tries to claim that you’re exaggerating your symptoms or that your symptoms are the result of an incident unrelated to the car crash.
To learn more about how after car accident symptoms can impact your personal injury claim, contact The Law Offices of Loren Scott Etengoff.