Common Delayed Injury Symptoms After a Car Crash
You were shaken up by your accident, but you weren’t injured. At least, that’s what you thought at the time.
Now you’re not so sure.
Car accidents are horrific experiences, even if the damage doesn’t seem severe at first blush. Everyone reacts differently to crashes, and you may not notice signs of damage right away amid all the other distractions and adrenaline.
But let’s be clear: if you were caught in an accident and are now dealing with delayed injury symptoms, you have just as much of a right to fair treatment and compensation as someone who showed signs of injury at the scene, even if it’s hours, days, or weeks after the accident.
Here are a few of the most common delayed injury symptoms to watch out for.
Persistent headaches are one of the usual suspects. Unfortunately, they’re also a bit of a tricky symptom, since they can be red flags for a wide variety of injuries.
For example, they could be signs of a concussion, a type of traumatic brain injury affecting brain function, usually caused by a blow to the head. Headaches could be a red flag for a concussion if they include any of the following:
- Dizziness or “seeing stars”
- Tinnitus (ringing, buzzing, or other tone in the ears without an external source)
- Slurred speech
- Confusion or the sensation of being in a fog
- Difficulty responding to questions
Concussions can include temporary loss of consciousness, but most concussions don’t include loss of consciousness.
On the other hand, headaches could be a sign of whiplash complications, a likely candidate if you also have neck and shoulder pain. If your neck is in pain due to disc or facet joint damage, you may be carrying your neck more stiffly to mitigate the effects, and that tension can travel up to turn into persistent headaches.
But headaches can also be a sign of invisible but equally serious complications, like a blood clot in your brain.
Either way, if you experience persistent headaches after a car accident, get to a doctor right away to figure out the root of the problem.
Personality or Cognitive Changes
Sometimes, your brain doesn’t show damage through pain. But the damage inflicted is just as serious, especially if you experience cognitive or personality changes.
If you experience memory problems, inexplicable mood shifts, or sudden, distinct personality changes, that’s a major red flag that something is wrong.
The biggest concern with personality or cognitive changes is that they may indicate a traumatic brain injury. Even a mild TBI can have complex, far-reaching consequences for you and your loved ones—and recovery can be an expensive process.
Loss of Sensation
Conversely, the lack of sensation is an equally concerning sign that something may be wrong.
While most people think that whiplash comes with chronic neck pain, this isn’t always the case. Some car accident victims who get whiplash experience a lack of sensation or tingling in their hands or arms.
This occurs due to injuries to the spinal column or surrounding nerves. Since your spine is responsible for relaying information to your brain about sensation, damage to the nerves means that your spine can’t send information to the brain.
Without sensory input to interpret or with insufficient sensory data, the brain draws up blank, and you experience numbness or tingling in the affected areas.
Abdominal Pain or Swelling
Finally, if you experience any abdominal pain or swelling, it’s time to get to the doctor.
Abdominal pain or swelling can be signs of internal bleeding, especially if it’s accompanied by deep bruising, dizziness, or fainting.
If this symptom shows up, get to the doctor right away. Internal bleeding is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical care, as the damage to your internal organs can quickly devolve into major complications if untreated.
Are You Suffering From Delayed Injury Symptoms?
If you or a loved one is suffering from delayed injury symptoms, you need an attorney that can help guide you through the legal process, explain the complexities of your injury to a jury, and ensure that you are given the care you deserve. At Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys, our experienced auto accident attorneys can put the legal system to work for you. We’ve recovered millions for auto accident victims since 1984, and we’ve handled over 120 trials. If you need to speak with an attorney about your options, click here to schedule your free consultation.