A number of delayed injuries from auto accidents go unnoticed at the time of the accident. There are related symptoms that should not be ignored. Yet many drivers assume that if injuries are not immediately apparent, they are fine. Instead, anyone involved in an auto accident should be alert for indications of
delayed injury symptoms.
You are likely aware of many of the most common injuries that result from auto accidents. Many of these injuries are immediately apparent. Yet some delayed injuries are far more serious than we think at the time. It is not unusual to be disoriented or confused after an auto accident and not fully appreciate symptoms of some injuries.
After an accident you may notice symptoms that do not appear for several days. Some of these symptoms may indicate a serious injury. Among the delayed symptoms of injuries sustained in auto accidents are:
- Headache. It is not uncommon to develop a headache in the days immediately following a crash. In most cases these headaches are nothing more than headaches. However, headaches can also be symptomatic of more serious injuries. These might include traumatic brain injury, blood clot on the brain, or injury to the neck.
- Neck pain or stiffness. Neck injuries are common in crashes. Some pain and stiffness may be a normal reaction to the accident. These pains typically subside in a few days. But intense pain or stiffness should not be ignored. If neck pain or stiffness persist or are intense, you should see your physician for an exam.
- Shoulder stiffness and pain. Some shoulder stiffness and mild pain is common after an auto accident. The muscle strain of holding the steering wheel and trying to control the vehicle can be painful. The strain may also cause joint stiffness. If, however, the stiffness and pain do not subside, they may indicate a more serious injury.
- Back pain. Back pain is also common after an accident. Lower back pain in, in fact, quite common after a rear end crash or a side impact crash. In any accident, muscles, tendons, or ligaments in the back (or near the shoulder blade) may be strained. Yet disc and vertebrae injuries are also common, as well as spinal cord injury. See your physician if pain persists.
- Pain or swelling of the abdomen. These symptoms could result from internal bleeding. This kind of late-appearing symptom should be taken seriously and suggest a visit to an emergency medicine specialist.
- Numbness in your extremities. Numbness or tingling in your hands or feet could indicate an injury to your neck or spine. These symptoms should be reported to a physician as soon as possible.
- Loss of physical functions. Loss of coordination, memory problems, or compromised vision or hearing may signal a concussion or other traumatic brain injury.
- Personality change. If you observe changes in your personality or if a loved one brings such a change to your attention you could have a head injury. Traumatic brain injury often causes personality changes. If this occurs, see a doctor immediately.
- Disruptive memories of the crash or flashbacks and nightmares. Emotional trauma or post traumatic stress disorder are common after an accident, particularly for children. If these symptoms persist after a few days, you should seek medical assistance.
If you have been involved in an auto accident it is best to go to the emergency room and be evaluated. Not only will you receive immediate treatment, you will also have a record of any injuries or suspected injuries sustained. If you do not go to the emergency room immediately, see your primary care physician the next day. Whether you have or have not seen a doctor after an auto accident, please be attentive for any of these symptoms of delayed injury from an auto accident. If any of these symptoms appear seek medical attention.
If you or a loved one is injured in an auto accident, call Bettina Altizer and the experienced team of professionals at Atlizer Law, P.C., in Roanoke VA. When you have been injured, you need a trusted auto accident attorney with the experience and dedication to fight for you.