Injuries resulting from a car accident do not always manifest right away. Oftentimes, your body is in such shock after being involved in an accident that you may not be aware of the injuries you sustained from the impact. These injuries can be physical ones that are internal, and psychological ones that effect a person’s emotional state. In the days and weeks following a car accident, it is important to pay attention to certain warning signs that could indicate serious injuries, including but not limited to the following:
- Pain or Stiffness in the Shoulders or Neck
One of the more common injuries someone involved in a car accident experiences is pain or stiffness in the neck or shoulder area. Car accidents involve a sudden impact, which jolts a person’s body forcefully, many times resulting in soft tissue injuries and what is commonly known as, whiplash.
The pain or stiffness is not always felt immediately. In fact, it may not show up for days after an accident. Whiplash may sound harmless but is actually quite serious and can be physically debilitating for the duration of someone’s life. To be diagnosed properly, one will need to undergo x-rays, MRIs, or CAT scans. Treatment can involve physical therapy and pain management. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms after an accident, it is important to be seen by a doctor who specializes in treating car accident victims and can identify these injuries quickly and efficiently.
- Feeling Numb
Numbness can result from damage to the body’s neck or spinal column after an accident. It is not a normal symptom anyone should be feeling. If you experience numbness after an accident, you should consult a medical professional as soon as possible for treatment.
Car accident victims often complain about headaches that either manifest immediately after or develop days after the accident. Headaches should never be written off as unimportant as they could signify something more serious, such as a concussion or even a blood clot. Headaches can also be a sign of a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur when the brain hits the inside of the skull. These can be life-threatening if not discovered and treated quickly.
- Back Pain
Like neck and shoulder pain, back pain can appear days or even weeks after a car accident. It could be a result from the sudden impact, or it could also mean damage to your muscles, nerves, ligaments, or vertebrae. According to the Back & Neck Pain Center, more than half of all rear end-collisions result in lower back pain.
- Herniated Disc
One specific type of back pain which commonly occurs from car accidents involves a herniated disc. This condition occurs when the soft center of a spinal disc pushes through a crack in the tougher exterior casing. This can irritate nearby nerves and result in pain, numbness, or weakness in an arm or leg. Treatment includes physical therapy, medication, and possible surgery.
- Swelling or Pain in the Abdomen
If you are experiencing pain or swelling in the abdomen after an accident, this could be a sign of internal bleeding, which is a life-threatening medical condition that needs to be immediately treated. Other signs of internal bleeding include dizziness, fainting, or deep purple bruising. As soon as these symptoms are experienced, you need to be seen by a trained emergency medical professional.
- Emotional Changes or Changes in Mood
Car accidents can result in injuries that do not just involve physical symptoms. Many times, emotional or mental changes, that include impaired thinking or memory, trouble with vision or hearing, severe depression, and impaired movement can occur after a car accident. Additionally, many car accident victims suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following an accident due to the stress and emotion behind it all. Some car accident victims report having vivid and disturbing replays of the event, including nightmares. It can even be emotionally painful for them to get behind the wheel again due to this PTSD. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, do not push them aside. Talk to a medical professional to see if they are symptoms of an underlying, deeper issue.
It is important to seek immediate medical treatment and speak with an experienced Orlando auto accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash, particularly if you have suffered serious injury as a result. Many people believe you should call the insurance company first before speaking with an attorney, and while it is important to report the accident to your insurance company- insurance companies do not have a duty to act in your best interest (even your own insurance company). Only an attorney must act in your best interest. By contacting an attorney, you can make sure you get compensated fairly for your injuries and damage sustained to your vehicle.
Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, P.A. is based in Orlando, FL and was founded in 1966. Our team is comprised of award-winning trial lawyers who have obtained record setting verdicts for the injured and their families in Central Florida and around the world. We provide free consultations to all families suffering from wrongful deaths or injuries caused by car accidents or catastrophic injuries. If you are not sure where to turn following a serious car accident, call us today at (407) 843-7060. Virtual sign-ups available. To learn more, visit https://www.whkpa.com/.