Those who’ve experienced a car accident consider themselves lucky to walk away from the wreck with only vehicle damage and minor, if any, bodily injuries. Obviously, some may have a few scratches, cuts, or bruises, but they may otherwise feel ok and fortunate to avoid serious injury. However, in the following weeks or even months, they may start to notice changes in their health which indicate serious and even potentially fatal injuries.
It seems that our bodies can have interesting reactions to trauma that delays our response to injury. When adrenaline kicks in, you can easily forget any symptoms of injuries from a car accident for the time being. If you suffer from delayed injuries, physical therapists and mental health professionals can help alleviate your pain and bring relief as long as you don’t ignore the symptoms.
Delayed Injury Symptoms After an Accident
More than 50 million people a year experience non-fatal injuries in car accidents, many of which result in long-term disabilities. Visible injuries, like bruises and scrapes, are eventually easier to diagnose and treat than delayed pain underneath the skin’s surface. A few days after the accident, you may be ok, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get yourself checked once again.
The trauma you experience during a car crash is causing you to feel delayed pain. The adrenaline kick shock you feel at the time of the collision numbs your body to the physical pain of an injury. Here’s where your body enters an overdrive state, doing its best to protect and heal itself.
Shock is a psychological and normal response to trauma. A sudden drop in blood pressure causes your blood vessels to narrow to redistribute the bloodstream to your vital organs. Shock is a psychological response that disconnects you from a situation – it actually makes a great job at mentally disguising your current health state.
Because the blood flow is redirected to your vital organs, you may lose sensation in your members (hands and feet), making them vulnerable during an accident. When you lose the sensation of members and experience mental detachment, you likely won’t realise the severity of an injury when it happens. The state of shock only lasts for a short period, such as a few hours.
Car accidents and back pain seem to go hand in hand. This is a common symptom after a crash, and you can’t help but wonder how long it will last. However, if your back encounters a lot of stress after an accident, that could be a sign of herniated disc.
A herniated disc is often painful, which means you can experience radiating pain long after the accident. You may start to feel better in a couple of weeks, but you still need to undergo treatment for your condition and even surgery. According to ReviewOfSolcitors.co.uk, if the pain persists, it’s always a good move to undergo a second medical evaluation and maybe consider filing a lawsuit for loss of earning potential.
During a car crash, your neck may suddenly move forward and backward. Because a seat belt tightly secures your body, the neck takes the hit of the impact.
After a collision, you may experience a number of symptoms, from stiffens or pain to unbearable pain or nausea. What’s more, symptoms may not be noticeable immediately. Delayed pain after a car crash is no surprise, and more often than not, symptoms of a neck injury may consist of:
- Heavy feeling or stiffness in your neck or head
- Being unable to turn your neck from side-to-side
- Inability to look down and up without pain
- Nausea and dizziness
- Shooting pain
- A sensation of fever or chills
- Muscle spasms in your neck area
- Tingling or numbness in your arms
- Ringing in the ears or blurred vision
Immediately following a crash, you should be examined by a licensed physician. They may use CT (computed tomography), X-rays, or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to check for damaged soft tissues.
Soft Tissue Pain
After a soft tissue injury, you will usually notice some pain, although the exact nature and level of pain can vary depending on the injury. Often, the injury may be stiff, swollen, discoloured and painful when bearing weight. Initially, soft tissue injuries may not be noticed but become apparent within a few weeks or more.
Soft tissue injuries include damage to the ligaments, muscles, or tendons. This also includes whiplash and several other injuries like strains, sprains, and contusions.
PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental condition that occurs after a traumatic event. You may already be familiar with the psychological trauma so common among combat veterans and sexual assault victims, but a strong body of evidence also links trauma to car accidents.
When left untreated, PTSD can have a devastating effect on a person’s quality of life – for example, victims may often experience flashbacks of the crash. They’re triggered by factors that remind them of the event, such as driving a car or seeing news about a crash. They may also avoid people or places that remind them of the accident. Their symptoms may appear weeks after the accident or even months or years later.
How to Protect Yourself Legally
Don’t rush to settle your personal injury claim too soon. If there’s someone else’s fault, their insurer may want you to sign a liability release with a huge amount attached to it. While you may be tempted to accept the offer because the settlement may seem reasonable enough, it might turn out to be much less than you deserve. Don’t fall into that trap and wait until your physician examines you. At this point, it will be much easier for your solicitors and personal injury lawyers to calculate a fair settlement for you.