Approximately 3 million Americans are injured in automobile accidents every year. While many crashes are minor, many include broken bones, devastating and debilitating head or back trauma, and even death. It is not uncommon for pain after an accident to take a while to manifest. You may not even know you have a serious car accident injuries until days or weeks later.
Why Some Injuries Take Time to Manifest
When you are in a car accident, your body generates adrenaline and endorphins. These chemicals help super-charge your body, heighten your reflexes, and block pain. This may cause you to feel increased energy and a lack of pain after a collision. Once the release of those chemicals subsides, the pain could start to appear.
Insurance companies know this is the case and may try to contact you to get you to sign a release for any claims. They may even offer you money to sign quickly. It is very important to be fully evaluated by a medical professional after a collision, even if you feel okay. You should do this before signing anything the insurance adjuster puts in front of you. It is also best to talk to your doctor and an experienced car accident lawyer to determine the best course of action and how long you should wait before settling your case. If you do sign a release, this can waive your right to pursue compensation even if an injury were to show up later.
Below are 5 common injuries that you may not feel immediately after an accident:
When the brain strikes the inside of the skull, this can cause a concussion. Although this most often comes from striking your head against something, car accident victims can get a concussion from the sudden change in motion. This causes the brain to slam against the skull. The symptoms vary greatly and may include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, sensitivity to light or sound, and changes in appetite or sleep habits. Without a medical examination, you may not be aware that you suffered this injury.
One of the most common car accident injuries is whiplash. This is a result of a sudden stretching and straining of the tendons in the neck and shoulders. Some victims will experience pain immediately after their accident. However, it is very common for the symptoms to show up the next day or even a few days later. Some symptoms of whiplash can include blurred vision, headaches, trouble sleeping, and tinnitus (a ringing in the ears). While whiplash will frequently heal on its own, more severe cases may need medical attention.
When a vehicle is struck from the rear or the side, it is extremely common for a back injury to occur. This can not only be painful, it can also be devastating and permanent if the spinal cord gets injured. Victims of back injuries often suffer from herniated disks, sciatica, or numbness and tingling in the limbs. Other symptoms can include headaches, bruising, weakness, loss of bladder or bowel control, difficulty breathing, or neck and shoulder pain. You may not notice these right after an accident, but the effects can be long-lasting once they do appear.
Internal Injuries and Blood Clots
It is possible for internal bleeding and blood clots to go undetected for days after a car accident. These conditions can cause serious injury or death. Abdominal pain, large and dark bruises, dizziness, fainting spells, or headaches can be indications of these dangerous conditions.
Many people are not simply injured physically in an auto accident. Often, you may feel uncomfortable on the road after a traumatic incident, experience flashbacks, have nightmares, or feel symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. In rare cases, you may need therapy before you can go out on the road again.
We Can Help You After a Car ACcident
If you have injuries after a car crash, you may need to take time off work to heal. You may also incur substantial medical costs and could have to attend physical therapy. Car accidents can cause significant injuries that can be complicated to prove. Our experienced team can help you get the compensation you deserve.