According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 7,500 people are injured daily in car accidents. Car accident injuries can vary from minor to severe or even fatal.
However, there is one glaring issue with car accident injuries. Often victims who sustain injuries don’t act on them until it’s too late.
No matter how minor or significant your injuries are, you should always seek professional medical care immediately after the accident.
Then, it would help if you had an experienced Denver car accident attorney. Strong legal counsel gives you a better chance of winning the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to learn more.
What Are Common Physical Symptoms After a Car Accident?
Did you know that we don’t feel pain immediately after an accident? It’s a phenomenon called “stress-induced analgesia.” Our bodies have a defense mechanism that tricks us into feeling like we’re not hurt.
When our bodies release adrenaline, the stress we feel after the traumatic incident can mask the pain of injuries. This can go on for hours or even days. However, once the wounds fully manifest, victims may experience unbearable pain and be unable to return to work. Some even find that they’ve lost enjoyment in recreational activities or have difficulty performing daily activities like grocery shopping.
Here are some symptoms to look out for if you sustained injuries in a Denver car accident:
Many people experience headaches after an auto collision. However, they may not always be present right away. It’s possible to feel okay right after the accident but wake up the next day with a pounding headache. Sometimes they can even appear days later.
Common culprits for accident injury-related headaches include:
- Tension in the neck and shoulder area
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
A minor headache can be annoying and cause an inconvenience. But sometimes, a headache can point to a more serious underlying condition. If you develop a headache any time after a car accident, seek medical attention immediately.
Neck, Shoulder, and Back Pain
Another common pain that victims experience after a car accident is neck, shoulder, or back pain. Again, the pain can seemingly come out of nowhere after feeling fine immediately after the accident.
Neck, shoulder, or back pain can be localized or feel like a widespread shooting pain in the arms or legs. Whatever degree of pain you have in any of those locations, you should not ignore it.
Neck, shoulder, and back pain can come from:
- Tension in the muscles surrounding the neck, shoulder, or back area
- Injury to the joints, tendons, or muscles
- Nerve damage
- Tissue damage
Bruises and contusions are skin colorations from a skin or tissue injury. They form due to damaged blood vessels, or capillaries, under the skin.
The full extent of your bruises may not be visible right away. That’s because it can take time for the damaged blood vessels to reach the surface of your skin.
While most bruises heal independently, serious car accidents can cause severe bruises and even damage internal organs. If that’s the case, you need emergency medical care.
You should see a doctor if you have bruising, discoloration, or tenderness that does not improve.
Numbness or Tingling
Nerve or tissue damage can cause the injury victim to experience numbness or tingling. This often manifests in the back, neck, shoulders, hands, and feet. Sometimes, it can present simultaneously with pain.
Any numbness or tingling should be addressed and treated accordingly. Be sure to mention any numbness or tingling anywhere on the body so your doctor can prescribe the proper treatment.
Changes in Mood or Behavior
While physical injuries are the primary factor for compensation to car accident victims, there are other damages too.
Non-economic damages like emotional and mental distress, PTSD, reduced quality of life, and pain and suffering, are losses you can recover in a personal injury claim.
Many experience anxiety, depression, mood swings, and other mental health issues after an accident. Sometimes a concussion can cause temporary changes in a person’s mood or behavior after a car accident.
Upset Stomach or Abdominal Pain
It’s likely the seatbelt you were wearing pulled your body very tightly. The result can be bruising or other trauma to your abdominal area. If you experience stomach pain or nausea after an accident, it’s best to seek medical care immediately. You want to rule out any severe conditions, like internal bleeding, that can worsen if left untreated.
Swelling is a common symptom after your body experiences any trauma. Tissue damage, pulled muscles, sprains, and strains can all lead to swelling.
The danger with swelling is that it takes time to present its extent fully. So you may not know how bad the swelling is until hours or days after the accident.
Swelling can also cause stiffness and pain, which you might be able to treat with home remedies like resting, icing, compressing, and elevating. However, if the swelling persists and you experience pain, you might need additional medical treatment. Swelling could even be a sign of a more serious underlying injury, so be sure to seek medical attention as soon as you see swelling. In addition, you may need to undergo long-term treatments or physical therapy if injuries are left untreated.
Ringing in Your Ears
Many victims suffer hearing loss from head injuries in car accident cases. Perhaps the airbag deployed and caused an ear injury. Along with other symptoms, the victims would experience pain and possibly a ringing in the ears.
Tinnitus or ringing in your ears can result from loud crash noises or a head injury. In addition, stress or a concussion from the accident can make you hear a ringing in your ears. Only a professional medical diagnosis will allow you to get the proper treatment.
Trouble Concentrating or Remembering Things
The stress and shock from the car accident can leave your brain feeling foggy. However, if you have difficulty remembering certain things, it may be a sign of a serious head injury.
For example, if you experience attention problems or have impaired concentration, that could indicate a traumatic brain injury.
It would be best if you got medical attention immediately to rule out the possibility of severe brain trauma. That would require emergency surgical intervention. Sadly, brain injuries are sometimes overlooked after auto accidents. That’s because they don’t have any visible symptoms for doctors or EMTs to identify.
Blurry Vision or Dizziness
Whiplash and neck strains can cause blurred vision, dizziness, or vertigo after a crash. When the neck jerks back and forth rapidly, the spine and neck muscles and tendons can get stretched beyond their normal range of motion.
Additionally, concussions or PTSD can contribute to blurry vision or dizziness after the accident. Post-traumatic vertigo typically lasts for a few hours or a couple of days. However, more severe cases can last for up to six weeks. Sadly, sometimes car accident victims suffer long-term vertigo symptoms without relief.
If your symptoms persist or continue to worsen, be sure to get checked out by a medical professional.
Why Do Some Car Accident Symptoms Show Up Later?
Immediately after the accident, the involved parties will experience shock and confusion. Your brain will try to process what just happened and how to handle the situation. Most peoples’ initial concerns are the damage to their vehicle and ensuring everyone is okay. In addition, they might worry about the costs associated with the accident damages.
Your body also experiences a rush of adrenaline from a “fight or flight” response. This response helps people stay alert and react to a threatening situation, like a car crash. In addition, the adrenaline can hamper the full extent of pain you perceive from the injuries. Therefore, you may not experience pain or discomfort until the adrenaline has worn off.
How Long Can Physical Symptoms Last After a Car Accident?
The answer will vary greatly from person to person. Some people will have symptoms for a few days, while others may experience them for weeks, months, or years. Factors that affect how long you experience physical symptoms include:
- Health at the time of the accident
- Any pre-existing conditions
- How soon you receive medical treatment
- The severity of the crash
- How a person responds to trauma and pain
- How much support you have after the accident
All these factors and more will affect the time it takes for a person to heal from their injuries fully.
Tips to Help Improve Your Recovery Time
The steps you take to recover from your injuries can significantly help or hinder your healing time. Here are some tips to help you recover sooner and ensure your injuries do not worsen:
- Seek medical attention as quickly as possible
- Follow all doctor’s instructions and treatment plans carefully
- Continue any recommended regimen for long-term treatment or physical rehab
- Get adequate sleep and rest
- Eat a healthy, nourishing diet
- Engage in any activities or practices that help you reduce stress
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
Many injury victims find that hiring a lawyer saves them time and energy.
If you were not at fault for the accident, you might be entitled to seek compensation for your damages. A lawyer can help you file a claim and deal with insurance companies. Communication with insurance companies can be annoying. You might feel frustrated and discouraged if you try to do so while also struggling with injuries.
If you have an experienced lawyer fighting in your corner, you can focus on recovering and healing with less stress.
Contact A Denver Car Accident Lawyer Today
We can help you file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. You should not have to bear the financial burdens alone after sustaining injuries due to someone else’s negligence. On top of that, you should not have to navigate the complex legal proceedings alone while recovering from injuries.
We handle all your dealings with insurance companies and legal processes on your behalf. That way, you can focus on healing and getting your life back on track.
Our bottom line is to get you the full compensation you deserve for your damages. And most importantly, we keep your needs in mind at every step.