For some accident victims, the pain of a collision is immediate. For others, the sharp aches and stiff muscles appear days later.
The truth is that unless something is very obviously wrong, such as a broken leg or bleeding lacerations, you can’t be 100% sure you survived unscathed.
The forces involved in a crash are immense. The impact can fracture and strain the body’s bones, tissues, and nerves in an instant. A person involved in a crash should seek immediate medical evaluation and carefully monitor their condition for any changes in the days and weeks following.
Pain Immediately After the Accident
If you’re experiencing sharp, agonizing pain or unusual symptoms such as blurred vision or ringing in the ears, that’s your cue to visit the nearest emergency room or urgent care. Nobody wants to be injured, but ignoring your pain could lead to significant health complications in the near and distant future.
If paramedics arrive at the scene, describe everything you are feeling with as much detail as possible. Even if you aren’t taken by ambulance or refuse a ride, you need to get seek emergency treatment ASAP.
On the other hand, you may feel fine, just shaken up a little. But once the shock of the crash wears off and you wake up the next morning, that may no longer be true.
Pain 24-48 Hours After the Accident
Many clients who have been in car accidents tell us that they felt fine after the wreck only to wake up the next day and be in terrible pain. Why does this happen?
The first reason why you may not realize you are injured after a car accident is the hormone adrenaline. Adrenaline dulls pain, boosts energy, increases breathing, and dilates blood vessels. All of these benefits are designed to help you fight or run from dangerous threats.
The second type of hormone protecting you are called endorphins. Endorphins are triggered when something pleasurable happens or during exercise. They can also be released when a person suffers from stress or pain. The effects of endorphins fade over time; that is why you may suddenly feel sore and stiff.
Watch out for these common symptoms after a car accident.
Delayed Pain After the Accident
Maybe you don’t feel pain immediately after an accident. It may even be a few days later; other than a few bruises, you feel normal. This can easily lead you into thinking you’re in the clear injury-wise. But in a few cases, you may have suffered an injury and just haven’t realized it yet.
Delayed injuries after a car accident are more common than people realize. An injury can appear up to several weeks later or longer. In some cases, an injured victim may have been experiencing symptoms without realizing those were a sign that something was wrong all along.
Delayed car accident injury symptoms may include:
- Sleep problems
- Abdominal pain
- Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath
- Fever, shivering, or suddenly feeling cold
- Noise sensitivity
- Feeling sluggish or groggy
- Depression and anxiety
- Swelling and bruising
- Intense pain
- Numbness or tingling
When in Doubt, Go to the Doctor
Don’t wait for the adrenaline and endorphins to wear off before scheduling a visit with your doctor or an emergency care clinic.
In the case of severe symptoms such as seizures, difficulty walking, difficulty understanding speech, severe headaches, weakness on one side of the body, or nausea and vomiting, you need to get to the ER immediately. You may have suffered a traumatic brain injury or brain bleed.
If you’re experiencing fever, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, or abdominal pain, you may have suffered an internal injury.
Seeking medical treatment protects you in the long term. Not only do you get the medical care you need in case something is wrong, but you also protect your potential personal injury claim from being rejected by the insurance company.
Talk to a Car Accident Injury Lawyer
If it turns out you are not okay after a collision, it’s time to contact a personal injury lawyer. An experienced and compassionate attorney can fight for all the financial benefits and medical treatment you need during the long road to recovery.
Contact Gary Martin Hays & Associates to discuss your car accident case and injuries. We have been providing expert personal injury advice and legal services to injured victims of Georgia since 1993.
Your health and well-being aren’t worth risking. Go to the doctor. Talk to a lawyer. Protect yourself from further injury and the insurance company’s underhanded tactics by calling an Atlanta personal injury lawyer today.