Being aware of the immediate damages to your body after a car accident is a given, but the frequent inevitability of delayed car accident injuries come to many car accident victims as a surprise. The truth is, an onset of injuries weeks, even months, after a collision is possible. Many of these, however, are often overlooked by victims because they aren’t necessarily visible from the outside, and the individual may attribute the pain or soreness to something less serious. Nevertheless, complications due to not receiving appropriate medical treatment, or ignoring signs of injury, make these types of injuries all the more dangerous following a car accident. This is why the Westchester County car accident lawyers at Fiedler Deutsch, LLP always advise seeking professional medical treatment after a collision.
Signs Of Delayed Injuries
Identifying delayed symptoms of a car accident will help you catch it sooner. Knowing these injuries exist, even if the pain hasn’t set in yet, will prompt you to maintain a more consistent and timely medical record, allowing you to make a better case against the other driver. The following symptoms are often signs that an injury is present:
- Back pain: The impact of a car crash can affect the back in many ways. Spinal cord damage, soft tissue damage, and a herniated disc are all examples of injuries you might not notice right away.
- Neck pain: Whiplash is the most common neck injury from a car accident. The initial impact from a collision might send your body into shock, making it impossible to assess the state of your neck and body. Give your body a few days to send those signals.
- Head pressure: Headaches can mean a lot of things, from a lack of hydration all the way to a brain injury. Take your headaches especially seriously after a car accident. It’s wise to see a specialist on top of the initial emergency room visit.
- Numbness, tingling: Soreness and pain are common indications of an injury, but numbness and tingling can often mean you’re experiencing nerve damage. If left untreated, it may result in the injuries worsening.
- Abdominal pain: Internal bleeding can often be the source of abdominal pain. The pain might not be severe enough within the first day, or even the first week, to set off alarm bells, but stomach pain needs to be taken seriously, even when it’s faint.
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, see specialists for each. If the phrase “better safe than sorry” was to apply at any time, it should be now.
Internal Bleeding/Organ Damage
When most people think of injuries, particularly from a car accident, images of lacerations, broken bones, and bruising may come to mind. This is primarily because they can be seen on the exterior of the body, are easy to identify, and something we’ve all seen whether in real life or on television. On the other hand, injuries that aren’t so easy to discover are any damage that occurs on the interior of the body to the organs or in the form of internal bleeding. As noted by WebMD, internal damage can occur through both blunt trauma and penetrating trauma, both of which aren’t unusual in any major vehicle collision. Unfortunately, such injuries are not always immediately noticeable, and accident victims only seek medical attention after their internal injuries are so severe that they become impossible to ignore. At this point, an unmonitored internal injury can become fatal, in which a car accident turns into a wrongful death case.
According to TreatNow.Org, car accident traumatic brain injury cases are the leading cause of TBI-related deaths among children and young adults, and don’t require a horrific accident to be fatal. Although the human skull is more durable than most people assume, by no means does it always protect the brain. Even in minor car accidents, a driver or passenger can be subjected to so much force or an impact that it can cause internal brain injuries without even cracking the skull. This is why you should always accept medical attention following a crash, because even if you feel fine, that does not indicate that your brain hasn’t been affected. This can result in life-altering and even deadly brain injuries.
As defined by John Hopkins Medicine, soft-tissue injuries are the damage of ligaments, muscles, and tendons of the body. Although they aren’t uncommon among athletes or other highly-physical individuals, it is no surprise that car accident victims suffer from such injuries as well after an impact. However, because soft tissue damage in the form of sprains, stress injuries, tendonitis, and more are typically under the skin, this can lead to people assuming that they have sustained an injury less serious than it might actually be. This leads to larger problems down the road, since they may not receive a proper diagnosis and follow the necessary precautions to heal, in turn, making the injury worsen over time.