When you are involved in a car accident, you may strike components of the interior in such a way that you are sure you have been injured. You may feel a snap or a stab. You may try to move to find that you can’t. You may look in your rearview mirror or look down at your body and see injuries. In short, you are well aware that you need medical attention and you accept assistance on the scene.
What happens when you don’t feel or see those things? You think that you are absolutely fine, outside of being shaken up. You still need medical attention. There are conditions that may not become apparent until days or weeks following a vehicle collision. If you fail to seek medical attention immediately and then choose to file a personal injury lawsuit later, you may have a very difficult time proving that your injuries were the direct result of the collision.
Some injuries sustained in a car accident are obvious. Many are less so. While chances are incredibly high that you will know if you have a broken bone, for example, you may be unaware that you have sustained a concussion until you experience a severe headache days after the crash. Here are some of the most commonly delayed car accident symptoms and injuries.
Whether you were hit head-on, from the side or from the back, it is not unusual to develop a headache following a collision. Things in an accident happen very quickly, and you may not even have realized that your head snapped forward and back again or from side to side.
You may develop a headache in any area of your head in the days following an accident so don’t ignore it or brush it off to something else. A headache may indicate that you have sustained an injury to your brain or neck. While a headache after a car accident is common, it still requires medical attention for a proper diagnosis.
Following your accident, you may develop pain or stiffness in the neck and shoulders. This is most often indicative of whiplash, one of the most common injuries in a collision. According to experts, whiplash is most commonly sustained in accidents that involve rear-end collisions with speeds of less than 14 mph.
If you begin to experience stiffness or pain in the neck, shoulders or both, seek medical attention. A proper diagnosis means that you can begin treatment as soon as possible.
You don’t want to ignore back pain or chalk it up to normal. If your back begins to ache after a car accident, head to the doctor. You could be suffering with a strain or other injury to the ligaments, muscles or nerves in the back.
Pain in the abdomen, or unusual swelling in the abdomen, should never be ignored. You will know the difference between a typical stomach ache and a condition that requires medical intervention. When you experience pain in the abdomen following a car crash, you could be dealing with internal injuries. Internal bleeding can manifest itself as pain, tenderness and swelling in the abdomen and, if not treated, can be life threatening.
You may begin to experience tingling or numbness in the extremities. Think of the pins and needles feeling you get when your hand or foot falls asleep. If you begin to experience these feelings following a vehicle collision, visit your doctor. You could be dealing with whiplash or something a bit more serious.
Many people don’t consider changes in behavior to be a symptom of a car accident but they very well could be. Changes in behavior may not be noticed by you, but your loved ones may begin to ask you what’s wrong or tease you that you have suddenly become forgetful. If you begin to behave in ways that you didn’t prior to the accident, seek a doctor’s advice. You may be dealing with an undiagnosed brain injury.
In some cases, injuries from a car accident are immediate and severe. In other cases, injuries take days or even weeks to be discovered due to delayed symptoms. No matter what you begin to experience following a car accident, medical intervention is important. While you could certainly be dealing with a minor condition that requires nothing more than time to heal properly, you could be suffering with a very serious injury.
If you have been involved in a car accident in West Palm Beach, reach out to our experienced team of personal injury attorneys for assistance. We will review the details of your accident and advise you of your legal options. Your first consultation will be held at no cost to you so call our office today.