What if Your Injuries After a Car Crash Don’t Show Up Right Away?
In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, you don’t necessarily know if you’ve suffered a serious injury or how severe it is. The crash may have seemed like just a fender bender with minor damage to each vehicle. You may have bumped your head or twisted your neck, but other than that you felt okay. The problem is that certain types of injuries can take considerable time to become apparent. You may not experience the full symptoms until several days, weeks or months later.
You should seek medical attention after any accident that involves an impact to the body, whether or not you feel pain. However, even if you haven’t seen a healthcare professional right away, it’s important not to take any action to settle a potential insurance claim, since you can’t know the full extent of the injuries for which you may be entitled to compensation.
When the body is under stress or anxiety, it releases adrenaline, a hormone that triggers physical responses designed to avert danger. These include:
- Dilation of air passages to provide muscles with more oxygen
- Contraction of blood vessels to redirect blood flow to the heart, lungs and other muscles
- Increased heart rate to deliver more oxygen to the muscles
- Increased production of blood sugar to provide the body with more energy
- Dilation of the pupils to improve vision
All of these responses are meant to help you “fight or flee” in an emergency situation.
For the same reason, the body releases endorphins that mask the perception of pain, stress and fear. As a result, you may feel completely in control and able to function despite having suffered a major trauma.
It may be much later that you start to experience such symptoms as headaches, neck stiffness, back pain, numbness in fingers or toes, swelling of joints, limited range of motion, dizziness, blurred vision and insomnia. These symptoms can signal concussions, strained or torn muscles, bulged or slipped discs, organ damage, internal bleeding and brain or spinal injuries. However, people often dismiss the symptoms as being unrelated to the accident, especially if they arise much later.
If you notice anything abnormal about your health after being in a car accident — no matter the amount of time that has elapsed — you must see a doctor and get a thorough medical diagnosis. Do this for the sake of your physical well-being as well as to determine the extent of the injuries for which you may be compensated by insurance or by legal action. In the meantime, contact an experienced auto injury lawyer who can analyze your situation and help you take the steps necessary to assert your claim.
At the Law Office of S. Mark Mitchell, LLC in Newnan, Georgia, I have wide experience helping car accident victims get the compensation they deserve. Contact me online or give my firm a call at 470-344-8550 for a free initial consultation.