Car accidents do not always cause obvious injuries or immediate excruciating pain. Sometimes injuries take time to manifest. Stress hormones released by the body such as adrenaline, can mask pain. The inflammatory response, which is the swelling of damaged tissue takes hours to become noticeable or even longer if the damage is deep within the body. Internal bleeding may also take time before feeling or seeing its symptoms.
When involved in a car accident, the potential for serious injury is real and should not be dismissed because you seem to feel OK at the time. The longer an injury is left untreated, the greater the chance of complications or prolongation of your recovery. An injury that is diagnosed shortly after an accident is more readily associated with the event. This is an important consideration when pursuing litigation with the party responsible for the accident.
Don’t ignore any of the following symptoms if you experience them during, or in the hours or days after an accident:
Headache – Headaches can indicate a neck injury, concussion, or brain injury.
Tingling or numbness – These symptoms often indicate nerve injury. The possible types of injury will depend on where the symptom is felt. Tingling or numbness in the arms are symptoms of whiplash.
Cognitive, speech, and sensory deficits – These are symptoms of a traumatic brain injury. Since the brain controls so much of your functionality, symptoms can manifest in many ways including diminished motor control and even personality changes.
Neck pain and stiffness – This is one of several symptoms of whiplash. Others include diminished range of neck motion, pain in the upper back, shoulder, or arms.
Lower back pain – This may indicate injury to the muscles and ligaments that support the back. Other injuries include a ruptured disk or a spinal cord fracture.
When these symptoms first appear, don’t explain them away just because they don’t seem that painful or disabling at first. Bear in mind that you have just survived a car accident and could have sustained serious injuries of which you are only now becoming aware. See your doctor, then consult with a car accident lawyer if the accident occurred because of a reckless or negligent motorist. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact us at The Clardy Law Firm.