Can Car Accident Injuries Be Delayed?
Experiencing a car accident can be scary and nerve-racking. Yet, you may be surprised that you do not feel any physical pain after the intense jostling of the collision. Should you conclude that you are physically fine and lucky to be injury free? Actually, the answer is no.
The reality is that car accidents often result in pain, symptoms, and injuries that can delay in showing up. Some conditions manifest themselves slowly over days and weeks. At times, injuries can appear or display symptoms even several weeks later.
Therefore, after a car accident, you need to be alert to the appearance of symptoms and injuries. The best course of action is to seek medical attention as quickly as possible after an accident. This is true whether you think you’re fine or feel no pain at the time.
How Much Time Does It Take for Injuries to Appear?
Each person responds differently to a traumatic experience. The stress and anxiety level of one person can be higher or lower than someone sitting in the seat right beside him or her. The same is true for physical injuries.
Even now, researchers are uncertain as to the reason some people feel symptoms of injuries instantly and why others require more time. In the case of a car accident, some people feel pain immediately. Whereas others feel pain within hours, days, and sometimes weeks following the accident.
The human body can produce a tremendous rush of adrenaline and endorphins when a petrifying event occurs. The surge of these chemicals in the body is frequently the reason why injury symptoms delay after a car accident.
It is important to keep in mind that these chemicals mask the pain sensations. However, they do not indicate that your body is okay. It is extremely beneficial to your health and legal standing as well to visit a doctor immediately following a car accident.
How Adrenaline Can Be a Double-Edged Sword
Your brain and body want to protect you as much as possible after a traumatic event. Thus, after a car accident, your body can flood your system with the hormone adrenaline. Adrenaline is closely linked to what is often referred to as the “fight or flight” human response when in a dangerous situation.
The helpful and positive effects of adrenaline are the following:
- Sudden and significant increased amount of energy
- Considerable reduction in pain, perhaps no pain
- Dilated blood vessels and expanded air passageways that increase the flow of oxygen
- Heightened level of strength as a result of increased blood going to your muscles
- Heightened senses, such as vision and hearing
The above are certainly helpful conditions that adrenaline produces for the body to escape danger successfully. However, the release of this endorphin in such a large amount can be misleading since it can deceive you into believing you are fine.
In reality, when the adrenaline wears off, your body may have serious injuries. The pain you feel can be severe and widespread. Do not be fooled by adrenaline. It may simply be delaying the realization of your injuries.
What are the Symptoms of Delayed Injuries?
Injuries that are slow or delayed in their manifestation can become noticeable within hours to weeks following a collision. It is important, then, to be attentive to your body at that time.
Among the common symptoms that your body may start to display indicating you are injured are:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Blurred vision
- Light sensitivity
- Sensitivity to loud noises
- Abdominal pain
- Tingling sensations
- Behavioral changes
- Memory loss
- Difficulty remembering
Irregular or unusual sleep patterns (for example, insomnia or sleeping excessively)
In the moments just after a car crash, it is common to hear victims express that they feel alright. However, often the next morning when they wake up, they describe their physical condition as much worse. Why is this the case?
In addition to the lack of pain experienced by an adrenaline rush, some injuries take time to show themselves. But what types of serious injuries could these delayed symptoms be a sign of?
Serious Injuries With Delayed Appearance
A car accident is an abrupt, powerful event that causes painful effects. However, frequently people walk away from a collision or accident feeling unsettled and nervous but seem fine physically. It is important to be aware that delayed injuries are common after vehicle accidents.
Among the most common delayed injuries after an auto accident are the following:
- Head injuries
- Brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Spine injuries
- Mental illnesses (for example, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
The most common of these injuries is whiplash.
What is Whiplash
Whiplash is an injury to the neck that is caused by sudden, intense, and violent forward and reverse motion of the neck. According to one university study, whiplash can occur in car accidents with speeds as low as 5 to 10 miles per hour.
The human head, on average, weighs about 11 pounds. It is supported and balanced by only 7 vertebrae. In a car accident, the head weight, when combined with the force of impact, can result in soft tissue damage and fractures to bones.
Whiplash can cause severe damage and can have painful life-long effects. In some situations, the severity of the whiplash injury can be reduced and even avoided with an early diagnosis. Physical therapy or similar treatments can also significantly help a person injured by whiplash.
Whiplash symptoms can seem like other injuries from the accident or be unnoticeable initially after the crash. These symptoms often remain unnoticeable for two, three, or more days after the accident.
Unfortunately, injured persons with whiplash often do not visit a doctor until they are in intense pain and suffering from immobility. It is better to seek medical attention early after the accident, if possible.
At the latest, you should see a doctor immediately after symptoms, such as the following, appear:
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Pain in the upper back
- Pain in arms
- Tingling in arms or shoulders
- Numbness in the arms or hands
Get Legal Assistance After a Car Accident With Delayed Injuries
Perhaps you felt fine immediately after your car accident. But now, after some time has passed, you might feel pain. If you have not done so already, please seek medical attention as quickly as possible.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, you may be able to hold the negligent, at-fault party accountable. This is true even in the case that your injuries are delayed in their appearance.
An experienced car accident lawyer can help you recover financially after your accident and injury so you can be compensated for your medical bills, pain, suffering, and lost income. Please get in touch with the personal injury lawyers at Phillips Law Group.
You can call us at (800) 706-3000 or fill out our online form to speak with one of our attorneys.
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