Some of the injuries that can be caused by a car accident are obvious and undeniable in the accident's immediate aftermath. Lacerations, fractures, and other injuries are visible, and some less-visible injuries present themselves with undeniable symptoms, like immediate pain. But many other car accident injuries may not be so easily detected.
Even if you're fortunate enough to come through a traffic accident feeling perfectly fine, you should take some care with your health. You need to have a medical evaluation as soon as possible. You should also keep a sharp lookout for delayed symptoms that may signal the development of an injury caused by your crash. Stay aware of the fact that serious injuries may not produce detectable symptoms for hours or even days.
Is There A Time Limit On Seeing A Doctor After An Accident?
As noted above, you should see a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident. This applies whether or not you are experiencing any symptoms. In some cases, a proper medical evaluation can identify an accident injury before its symptoms become apparent. Remain vigilant during the weeks following your accident even after you receive a diagnosis or a clean bill of health, though. You need to return for a fresh medical evaluation if you develop any new symptoms.
While there is no fixed time limit on when accident injuries need to be diagnosed, the more time there is between the accident and the diagnoses, the more challenging it can be to file an insurance claim. With a delayed diagnosis, insurance companies may assume victims are exaggerating or simply fabricating their injuries. The longer you go before having your symptoms diagnosed, the harder it will be to prove that your car accident was the cause of your injuries.
Part of settling any insurance claim will be signing a liability release. It will be nearly impossible to make a claim for any injuries or symptoms that develop after you sign such a release. If you develop injury symptoms days or weeks after a car crash, it is wise to seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer to ensure you have the best possible chance of recovering compensation for your injuries.
Car Accident Symptoms: Stomach Pain
Stomach pain that develops after a road accident is a very serious symptom. Stomach pain may be caused by internal bleeding or other internal injuries that need immediate treatment. Internal soft-tissue injuries can require emergency treatment, but symptoms like stomach pain may take hours or even days to develop.
Additional injury symptoms that might be linked to the onset of stomach pain include large bruises and dizziness. If you notice any of these symptoms after a car accident, seek medical attention immediately.
Delayed Symptoms Following A Car Accident
Stomach pain is just one of the symptoms that must not be ignored in the days following a car accident. Get yourself checked out by a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms after a collision:
1) Headaches Or Dizziness
Dizziness or headaches can be caused by a range of serious head injuries caused by a car accident. These include concussions, blood clots, whiplash, and neck injuries. Even if a headache feels relatively mild, you should not delay seeking medical attention. The underlying injuries that could be causing the headache can be serious.
Traumatic brain injury also needs to be considered following any car accident. Any violent motion or head injury could cause your brain to strike the interior of your skull. This could cause tissue damage, bleeding, bruising, or swelling. Even if you do not experience any immediate symptoms of traumatic brain injury, you may have a serious and potentially life-threatening problem. A headache is a common first symptom of a serious traumatic brain injury.
Headaches and dizziness are, unfortunately, easy to dismiss after you've been in a car accident. Many victims assume these symptoms are merely stress-related, but if they are caused by a serious injury, they may be the first signs of a potentially fatal problem. Make sure you are evaluated for concussions and other brain injuries if you feel your accident was at all capable of causing them. Do not hesitate to get another evaluation if you develop dizziness, headaches, or problems with your vision in the days following your crash.
2) Back Pain
Car accident injuries including (but not limited to) spinal injuries, herniated discs, whiplash, sprains, and soft tissue injuries can all cause back pain. This pain may not develop until hours or days after the accident.
Be sensitive to feelings of numbness or tingling in addition to pain in your back. These feelings could be caused by pinched nerves. Any serious injury to your back has the potential to cause problems with your mobility and may also cause debilitating levels of pain. These future developments make it important to have back injuries diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible after an accident.
3) Neck Or Shoulder Pain
Pain in these areas can be caused by spinal injuries, herniated discs, or other problems, like whiplash. Neck and shoulder pain often take days to develop after the accident injury that causes them. Seek medical treatment as soon as possible if you begin to experience these symptoms.
4) Numbness And/Or Tingling
As noted above, feelings of tingling or numbness may point to accident injuries like pinched nerves or herniated discs. These feelings can arise anywhere in the body, not necessarily at the site of injury. Like other serious accident injuries, the ones that cause numbness and tingling can grow far more serious if left untreated. That makes it important to get such symptoms evaluated as soon as possible after you experience them.
Have yourself checked out by a medical professional even if you experience other symptoms not described above. Additional physical symptoms that may indicate a serious injury include deep bruising, fainting, and lightheadedness.
The Psychological Impact Of Car Accidents
The sort of delayed physical symptoms of a crash injury described above can be very difficult to detect. Detection and diagnosis become even harder when you look at the mental and emotional impact that a car accident can have. These symptoms can take days or even weeks to develop, and the link between the new psychological issues and the accident that caused them are easy to overlook. The period following a car accident is often very stressful, and you may assume that any mental issues you are suffering are caused by that stress.
You should seek medical attention following car accidents if you experience any of these psychological symptoms:
* Fatigue and listlessness
* Sleep schedule disruptions
* Memory loss
* Difficulty concentrating or focusing
* Changes in appetite
* Changes in personality
* Mood swings
* Increased difficulty in controlling emotional responses
* Loss of enthusiasm for previously-enjoyable activities
* Loss of motivation
* Mental flashbacks
* Relationship issues
* Panic attacks
* Inexplicable feelings of anger, distress, or sadness
A car accident can cause many different psychological problems, including PTSD, sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, and more. These problems can be every bit as serious as a physical injury, and the damage they can do to your quality of life and your ability to return to your pre-accident mode of living should not be ignored.
If you experience mental or emotional symptoms following your car accident, seek help from a doctor or a counselor. Mental challenges caused by a car accident can be managed and resolved, but you need to get the right treatment and support to address those challenges.
Delayed Car Accident Symptoms
You should be able to seek compensation from insurance companies for any injury caused by a car accident, no matter when you first notice the injury's symptoms.
Symptoms that take time to develop inevitably present some problems. It may take time for you and your doctor to determine that your symptoms are related to your accident.
Insurers are more critical in examining injury symptoms when more time separates the diagnoses and the accident that supposedly caused them. If your symptoms took significant time to develop, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney in addition to a doctor. A personal injury attorney will know how to make your claim as strong as possible and protect you from being penalized simply because your symptoms did not appear immediately after your accident.