Car accidents are frightening experiences and can cause financial and physical strain. Though many injuries appear immediately after the crash, many others do not make themselves known until much later down the line.
We are not doctors and do not diagnose or recommend treatment. The following is just information based on what we have seen in the years we have been representing victims of personal injury accidents. You should, of course talk to a doctor about any medical conditions or injuries, whether or not they were caused by an accident.
Why Do Car Accident Injuries Appear Later?
Car accidents are stressful situations. Everyone reacts to stress differently; whether that is experiencing a foggy brain or getting a huge rush of adrenaline. The way your body reacts to stress will determine how soon you feel pain and injuries after the accident.
Car crashes tend to happen very quickly. During impact, your body releases a flood of endorphins to block out the pain and help you react quickly. After the shock of the event fades away, your body returns to a relaxed state and pain begins to appear.
In addition, some injuries take time to form. For instance, back pain, or pain radiating into an arm or leg, due to inflammation caused by an accident might not appear immediately after the accident or, even for some weeks or months later.
Hidden Injuries to Look Out For
In the days and months following the accident, you may begin to notice aches and pains throughout your body. It may become difficult to move your arms or legs, especially if they were slammed around the car during the crash.
Take the time to note any strange symptoms and set up an appointment with your doctor. Your attorney will need to know as these new symptoms or injuries arise and what doctors you are seeing to treat them.
- When your body jolts forward during a crash, it can cause spinal tissue to become swollen or even burst. This painful injury is called a herniated disc. If left untreated, the injury can cause severe pain and loss of muscle control.
A less severe injury would be whiplash or a neck strain. It can be difficult to turn your head or use your back muscles to lift objects. There may be inflammation where your muscles are damaged.
- A seatbelt is designed to protect you from a crash and prevent you from hitting the dashboard or even worse, slamming through the windshield. However, it can unintentionally cause pain during a collision. During an accident, your seatbelt may cause your body to twist suddenly, placing excessive force on your shoulders.
The result of your body twisting around is shoulder pain or possible tears in ligaments. Signs of shoulder muscle damage include pain and stiffness in the affected area.
- As your body goes through a car crash, your knees may move forward and smash against the dashboard. This can cause a shattered patella or damaged cartilage in the knee. It will be very painful to walk or bend your knees if they are injured.
- Concussions are common in accidents. You may have more serious brain damage if you display signs such as becoming forgetful or getting angry at loved ones quickly. Traumatic brain injuries should be treated as soon as possible to reduce long-term effects.
- Your psychological state can be seriously affected after an accident, especially if it was a significant crash. Some people develop fear or anxiety relating to driving or riding in a car after a collision. These symptoms impact their daily lives as they struggle to travel for daily activities.
How to Treat Hidden Injuries
The most important thing to do is to see a doctor immediately following the accident, especially if you are experiencing any pain or disorientation. If you begin to notice pain in other parts of your body at a later time, have the doctor perform another examination. Many of these injuries can lead to chronic pain and complications if left unchecked for too long.
Your treatment options after visiting the doctor will be determined by the severity of the damage done to your body. Some injuries require physical therapy while others may need surgery. Speak to your doctor about your options.
Cap and Kudler – Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorneys
The Cap and Kudler team has represented hundreds of clients suffering from car accident injuries. We understand the physical struggles you may be facing and we will fight to get you the money you need to cover costly medical bills. If you or a loved one were hurt in a car accident, call us at (702) 878-8778 or contact us online for a consultation.