Your car accident was days ago, maybe even weeks. You may have been grateful that no one was seriously hurt despite the horrifying nature of the crash. However, now that a little time has passed and your adrenaline has stopped pumping, you are starting to feel strange, and you may wonder if your symptoms are related to your accident.
It is not unusual for certain symptoms to remain latent for a while after an accident. In fact, some people do not immediately attribute their pain to the collision, which makes it difficult to diagnose. This is why the paramedics at the scene of your accident may have urged you to go to the emergency room for a checkup.
Common car accident injuries with delayed symptoms
Car accidents are violent, and the sudden jerking motion and changes of speed and direction that occur when one vehicle slams into another can result in damage to your head, neck and spine. You may have heard this referred to as whiplash. Even if you feel no pain immediately after the accident, painful whiplash symptoms can develop within a few days, even if the accident occurred at relatively low speeds.
However, if you are experiencing back and neck pain, it's best not to dismiss it to whiplash. Such symptoms could indicate serious injury to your nerves, ligaments or vertebrae. Additionally, you may experience swelling or pain in your abdomen several days after the accident. Doctors in Rhode Island recommend that you do not delay seeking medical treatment because these could be symptoms of internal bleeding.
Even if you didn't strike your head during the accident, you may experience a headache. This may be a symptom of whiplash, or it could indicate a more serious head injury. Seeking medical attention is important if you also develop any of these problems:
- Confusion or cloudy thinking
- Difficulty remembering
- Trouble seeing or hearing
- Difficulty moving
- Changes in your personality
These may be symptoms of brain trauma. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents are the third most common cause of concussions and brain injuries. You may not experience them for some time after the accident, so once symptoms are noticeable, immediate treatment will be important.
Dealing with insurance companies
Being aware of the possibility of delayed symptoms following an accident is important because an insurance company may question the relationship between your injury and the accident. You may have to jump through many hoops to convince them that the accident was responsible for your pain and suffering, or they may simply refuse to cover your medical costs.
Having an attorney on your side will ensure your rights are protected and allow you to focus on your recovery and healing. Your attorney will investigate the accident, consult with your doctors and determine a more appropriate settlement request that will provide what you need to get quality care.