Accident victims often don’t experience pain until days, weeks, or months following the accident, in which case they may still be able to file a claim depending on how long they wait to seek treatment.
Even if victims don’t believe they need to seek immediate treatment following an accident, they may still be injured and not realize it until later. It’s important to understand what to expect after an accident and the steps involved leading up to a claim.
The Types of Physical and Mental Injuries Following Crashes
After a car accident takes place, victims often experience a combination of physical and mental injuries. Even if physical pain is delayed, victims often go into a state of shock which is often made apparent through symptoms such as nausea and pupil dilation. Victims who are diagnosed with shock may be transported to a hospital immediately following the accident for treatment.
In many cases, victims experience emotional distress such as anxiety and depression. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is also frequently experienced. Certain physical injuries may manifest over time, even if symptoms aren’t immediate.
Some delayed physical pain may include:
Headaches may not be noticeable until days after an accident, which may lead victims to associate it with something other than the accident. Headaches can be indicative of serious underlying problems such as concussions or blood clots, requiring professional treatment.
Like headaches, it may take days to notice abdominal pain. This can also indicate a serious health issue, including internal bleeding. People may experience other symptoms in addition to abdominal pain such as dizziness, headaches, bruising, and fainting.
Shoulder and Neck Pain
One common sign of whiplash is delayed shoulder and neck pain. These types of injuries often result when victims are rear-ended in a car accident, as the muscles, joints, and nerves in the neck overextend. Whiplash injuries can be serious and require professional examination and diagnosis.
Back Pain and Tingling or Numbness
Another potentially serious delayed symptom is back pain, which could signify damage to muscles, ligaments, vertebrae, or the spinal cord. Victims may also experience numbness or tingling if spinal cord or neck injuries occurred.
Regardless of the types of symptoms experienced, it’s important to seek immediate treatment following an accident to identify and treat injuries. Doing so may also help support personal injury claims when seeking compensation.