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Car Accident Symptoms: A Guide to Common Delayed Post Accident Symptoms
Symptoms of a car accident can be very unpleasant, and it’s essential to get medical attention as soon as possible. Learn what to do if you find yourself in one.
What Happens to Your Body After a Car Accident?
A car accident can be one of the most traumatic events of your life. Yet, car accidents are a common occurrence. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 7,500 people are injured daily in car accidents.
However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be experiencing any symptoms in the future. Post-car accident symptoms usually don’t show up until long after the event.
How Long After a Car Accident Can Symptoms Appear?
Most car accident injuries present themselves straight away. However, some injuries present themselves hours, days, or weeks after an accident.
These symptoms are referred to as delayed symptoms, and they can either be physical or psychological. Physical symptoms include shoulder pain, neck pain, or tinnitus. Psychological symptoms include post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety. Some of these symptoms are indicators of more severe injuries or damage.
Causes of Delayed Car Accident Symptoms
Most people are shocked and confused straight after a car accident. An accident usually happens instantly, and your body immediately shifts into overdrive to deal with the situation. Even if you have sustained severe injuries from the accident, the adrenaline might not allow you to feel the pain at that moment.
Once the adrenaline begins to run out, you start experiencing the pain from your injuries. Some chronic symptoms might not be felt until days after the accident. Therefore, it is crucial to continue to watch for symptoms like double vision, nausea, sensitivity to light or noise, mood changes, and physical or psychological changes.
What Are Examples of Delayed Post Car Accident Symptoms?
Here some of the more common post-car accident symptoms:
It is common to experience tension headaches after a car accident. Even though a headache might not seem like a big deal, seek medical attention immediately to ensure that it is not a sign of a more serious issue.
Whiplash is caused by the sudden and rapid back-and-forth movement of the head. Symptoms of a whiplash injury include shoulder pain, neck pain, and back pain. Other whiplash symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, and stiff or sore muscles.
These symptoms could also be indicators of other injuries. They could be caused by stress, nerve damage, muscle tension, or even a spinal cord injury.
It is not uncommon to feel stomach pain after car accidents, especially when you wear a seat belt. You might see some bruising and other symptoms around the area. If you also have nausea, the abdominal pain could indicate internal bleeding.
Numbness or Tingling
Numbness or tingling might indicate damaged or pinched nerves and potentially nerve or tissue damage. You could feel numbness or tingling in your shoulders, neck, back, hands, or feet. You may also be feeling pain in addition to numbness or tingling.
Bruising and Swelling
Bruising and swelling do not appear immediately after an accident. It can take hours or days for them to appear. Your bruises indicate that there is damage to your capillaries. While most bruises heal on their own, some bruises could be symptoms of internal bleeding.
Most instances of swelling can be treated at home by elevating and icing the injured part.
Difficulty in Concentration and Memory Loss
Shock, stress, or head injuries from a car accident could cause concentration and memory loss issues.
These symptoms are subtle, and they could indicate that you have suffered a traumatic brain injury. Seek medical help when you notice you are struggling to concentrate.
A car accident can cause more than physical injuries. It can also cause mental or psychological injuries. If you notice more anxiety, mood changes, or depression, you might be emotionally affected by the car accident.
These symptoms could be indicators of a concussion or a traumatic brain injury. It would help if you tried to see a psychiatrist for help.
Importance of medical care
Consult a medical professional to properly diagnose your post-car accident symptoms, even if you think they cannot be related to the car accident because they start long after the accident.
It can be a long road to recovery as you might need regular medical attention or physical therapy to manage or stop the pain.
How to Deal with Symptoms After Car Accident
The first thing you must do is seek medical attention for your car accident symptoms. Proper and immediate medical attention will increase your chance of full recovery. You might also require physical therapy.
Medical treatment can be expensive depending on the injuries. You may ask yourself: how can I afford this?
Firstly, you need to check whether you have comprehensive insurance to cover any medical treatment required. A personal injury lawyer can help you with the claim process.
Perhaps you believe that the other party to the accident is at fault and would like them to compensate you for your medical expenses. An auto accident lawyer can assist you in starting a personal injury claim and negotiate a settlement with the other party or insurance company.
When Will the Car Accident Injuries Go Away?
The answer depends on the types of injuries and the type of medical treatment you undergo. The more serious the injuries, the longer they take to heal.
Serious injuries include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, or injuries to your internal organs. Some injuries may not fully heal, so you could still have pain for the foreseeable future.
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