You might think that you feel fine following a car accident. As the hours and days after your accident wear on, however, it’s not uncommon to experience delayed symptoms. Certain car accident injuries, like whiplash, can have a delayed onset. Delayed symptoms can be a sign of a serious medical condition or an injury that may get worse without treatment – in any case, it’s never something you should ignore. Here’s what you need to know about delayed symptoms after a car crash and what to do next.
Types of Injuries with Delayed Onset
There are several types of symptoms that may occur hours or even days after a crash. These symptoms are your body’s way of telling you to see a doctor. Keep an eye out for these delayed symptoms, which could be indicative of a serious injury:
- Sometimes a headache is simply a headache, but you should never ignore one after a car accident. These could be indicative of a concussion, an early sign of a brain injury, or a warning sign of a blood clot.
- Back pain. Lower back pain may signal whiplash, a herniated disc, sprain, or soft tissue damage.
- Neck or shoulder pain. Delayed neck and shoulder pain is usually indicative of whiplash, but it might also be due to a herniated disc.
- Tingling, numbness, or pinching. These sensations often signal nerve damage, which can take a while to manifest.
- Stomach pain. Abdominal or stomach pain might be a sign of internal organ damage or internal bleeding, which a seatbelt may cause. This is a medical emergency and necessitates immediate treatment.
- Nightmares, emotional stress, or anxiety. These symptoms may not appear immediately but can be signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.
What to Do
It’s essential to take the appropriate steps following an accident with delayed symptoms. First, seek appropriate medical care. If you’re experiencing pain of any kind, even if it’s not the kind listed above, make an appointment with your doctor. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Next, don’t sign any release of liability or papers from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Signing these papers too soon – i.e., before your doctors have the opportunity to identify the full extent of your injuries – could seriously harm your ability to collect compensation. A personal injury attorney will tell you to wait until your condition reaches a state of “maximum medical improvement,” which means you’ve stabilized and your doctors do not expect any further injuries to surface.
If you notice any delayed onset symptoms following a car accident, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. Our attorneys can effectively negotiate with the at-fault insurance companies and help you gain compensation for the full extent of your injuries, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore any symptoms. These could be a sign of a serious underlying medical condition that requires swift medical attention. Seek the care you need, then demand full compensation from the insurance company for your injuries with the help of an Atlanta personal injury attorney.