Usually you can tell right after a car crash whether or not you’ve been injured. The most revealing symptom is pain. Sometimes, however, you may have sustained injuries without knowing it, and you may show no injury symptoms until hours, days or even weeks after your accident.
This can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the adrenaline that courses through your system during and after an accident masks your symptoms. Sometimes nerve damage makes it impossible for you to feel pain at your injury site. Whether because of these or other reasons, delayed symptoms are not at all uncommon.
Common Delayed Symptoms
Some of the most common delayed symptoms, and the possible serious injuries they may indicate, include the following:
- Headaches: concussion or other traumatic brain injury
- Neck and shoulder pain: whiplash
- Abdominal pain: internal bleeding
- Back pain: spinal cord injury
- Numbness and tinging: nerve damage
- Sleep disturbances: post-traumatic stress disorder
- Panic attacks: post-traumatic stress disorder
- Depression, irritability or other behavioral changes: traumatic brain injury
Need for Medical Assessment
Given that you may show few, if any, symptoms of having received a serious injury in your car accident, you should always be checked out by an emergency room doctor as soon as possible afterward. Only a medical professional can properly examine you, schedule the appropriate diagnostic tests and then interpret them so as to give you an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment.
Even if the ER physician gives you a clean bill of health, you still need to be on the lookout for delayed symptoms. If you notice anything abnormal or unusual about yourself and your body in the weeks following your accident, do not hesitate to go back to the ER or schedule an appointment with your physician. Tell him or her exactly what you’re experiencing, how often, and where in your body you’re experiencing it. Also, do not hesitate to ask questions, especially if you feel that the physician isn’t taking your complaints seriously or is downplaying their possible seriousness. You may well need a second opinion.
Need for a Car Accident Lawyer
As a car accident lawyer in Philadelphia, PA, from a law office like Wieand Law Firm, LLC, can explain, you may also wish to contact an experienced local car accident lawyer, especially if an insurance company is pressuring you to accept a quick, albeit low, settlement. This is standard procedure on the part of insurance companies, and your lawyer can better deal with the one that’s pressuring you than you can. He or she knows all about delayed symptoms and the serious injuries that may take weeks or even months to be properly diagnosed.