After a crash, injuries such as lacerations, bruises, bumps, and fractures may be readily apparent with clear symptoms, but others can take hours, days, or even weeks to manifest. While delayed symptoms are especially common in minor accidents, even serious injuries might not produce symptoms right away. By understanding the types of delayed symptoms to watch for and the conditions they might indicate, accident victims can help protect themselves from worsening conditions that could result in permanent damage or death.
Why Symptoms Might Not Be Apparent
While there are a number of reasons that injury symptoms might be delayed, emotional disorientation, distractions from the accident, and the release of adrenaline and endorphins are some of the more common. When a person is involved in a traumatic incident, the body releases chemicals that help him or her cope. Although this fight or flight response is critical when dealing with stress or danger, it can get in the way of a successful personal injury lawsuit.
Insurance providers are quick to deny a claim that isn’t backed by medical evidence. To protect their legal rights and prevent injuries from going untreated, it is critical that accident victims get checked out by a doctor and know what symptoms to watch for in the days and weeks following a crash.
Common delayed symptoms include:
Headaches: It’s common for headaches or dizziness to develop several days after an accident. Sometimes they can signal a potentially serious problem such as a neck injury or whiplash, a blood clot, or a serious concussion.
Back pain: Delayed pain in the back area after an accident may be a symptom of whiplash, herniated disc or injury to the ligaments, muscles, or nerves. Back pain is most common in rear-impact collisions and side-impact crashes.
PSTD: Post-traumatic stress disorder often occurs as a result of the injuries or the traumatic stress endured. Victims may start to have vivid and disturbing memories hours or days after the accident, with some having difficulty controlling their emotions.
Abdominal pain: Abdominal pain or swelling could be a sign of internal injuries or bleeding. These can go unnoticed for several days after an accident and can be life-threatening if not treated early. Other signs of internal injury include dizziness, lightheadedness, purplish skin, or fainting.