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Delayed Pain After A Car Accident

Though most injuries display symptoms right away, some take hours, days and even weeks to show.

Any car accident has the potential to cause life-long physical injuries as well as psychological. While some injuries are immediately apparent after the crash occurs, others may not cause any symptoms until days or even months after the car accident. Due to this risk, it is always recommended that you go see a medical professional immediately after a car accident even if you do not feel any immediate symptoms.

delayed pain in xray

Soft Tissue Injuries

Among the injuries suffered in car accidents, soft tissue injuries are the most common due t the sudden whips and impact the body endures. Even if the collision occurs at a low speed, the victim can still sustain soft tissue damage because of the forces involved in stopping the car suddenly.

Whiplash or a cervical sprain is the most common type of soft tissue damage suffered in car accidents. Soft tissue damage can also occur around joints and can cause pain, swelling and reduced mobility of the injured joint. The symptoms of soft tissue damage can take a long time to appear, and these injuries are often difficult to diagnose initially.

Some of the symptoms to keep an eye out for include:

  • A lump or knot at the site of the injury
  • Inability to bear the weight
  • Joint instability
  • Limited range of motion
  • Muscle cramping or spasms
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pain
  • Swelling

If you have been in a car accident and you experience any pain or swelling a few days after the accident, you should not ignore this and seek a doctor immediately to rule out any soft tissue damage.

Concussions And Brain Injuries

A severe impact to the head or a violent jolt can force the brain to collide with the inside of the skull causing a traumatic brain injury known as a concussion.

These are very serious injuries and the common symptoms to keep an eye out for include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Asymmetrical pupil enlargement
  • Seizures
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion

The symptoms of a concussion are often difficult to detect without the help of technology, and it can go undetected even by the doctors sometimes. In some cases, concussions are not suspected if the car accident victim has not sustained any direct blow to the head. It is important to be aware of these symptoms. See a doctor after a car accident if you suspect you hit your head in any shape or form.

7 Delayed Injury Symptoms That You Should Be Aware Of

The seven most common delayed injury symptoms after a car accident include:

  • Headaches

Headaches after a car accident could be a signal of potentially serious problems. These include concussions, blood clots in the brain, skeletal nerve damage, or an internal injury to the head.

Though headaches are common after a car accident, they may take several days to manifest. So if you are experiencing mind-to-severe headaches even after days of the accident, don’t ignore them – see a doctor immediately.

  • Numbness

Another common delayed injury symptom, numbness indicates whiplash injury. It occurs due to a sudden jerk or damage caused to the neck and spinal column. It could lead to loss of feeling in the arms, hands, or legs. If not treated on time, numbness could severely impact your day-to-day functioning.      

  • Pain and Swelling

Sprains, strains, and contusions can all be the signs of the injury and need expert care and due medical attention. Days after the accident, you may suddenly start experiencing pain in some part of your body. These include:

  • Back: You may experience back pain due to an injury to muscles, ligaments, or nerves.
  • Abdomen: Abdominal pain could be due to internal bleeding or scaring of internal tissues or organs. If not treated on time, it could lead to significant organ damage.
  • Pain in ears or jaw: The strong impact of the car accident could lead to delayed, yet severe, pain in your jaw and ears. Possible issues that may arise include:
  • Difficulty in hearing
  • Ringing noises
  • Pain in ears
  • Tenderness of jaw
  • Difficulty in chewing
  • A feeling that jaw is locked up

These issues are unlikely to resolve on their own and could even have a possible correlation to neck or brain injuries. Therefore, immediate medical intervention is extremely important.

  • Changes in Personality or Behavior 

Any sudden change in your personality or behavior after the accident could be a sign of traumatic brain injury (TBI). It occurs due to a violent blow to the head during the accident. If ignored, TBI could get serious and life-threatening. In fact, vehicle accidents are the second most common cause of death due to TBI.

Its symptoms include:

  • Impaired or clouded memory
  • Vision problems
  • Hearing issues
  • Dizziness
  • Changes in the personality 
  • Depression  
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Motor accidents are the leading cause of PTSD. It is characterized by the failure to fully recover after a terrifying event or accident. The condition may last from months to a few years. It can lead to frequent triggers accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions. The symptoms may include:

  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Heightened reactivity to stimuli
  • Depression

Psychotherapy is often required to treat PTSD.

Why Does It Take Time for the Car Accident Injury Symptoms to Appear?

When you are hit in a car accident, your body initiates its own protection mechanism. It releases a sudden surge of adrenaline and endorphin hormones into the blood.

While the adrenaline hormone protects you from the shock and trauma caused by the accident, the endorphins alter the way you respond to pain and stress. It masks the immediate symptoms of the injury so that you can feel calm and in total control. Your car crash injuries appear only when your body settles back after the trauma. This may take from some hours to a few days to several weeks.

What Happens If Delayed Pain is Ignored or Left Untreated?

From causing chronic pain to turning your injuries fatal, ignoring your symptoms can have drastic consequences on your health and well-being. It may even lead to life-long disability. Therefore, it is important to seek prompt medical attention for any pain that you are experiencing after the accident.

Also, delaying or ignoring your pain may reduce your chances of seeking financial compensation for your accident injury expenses. That’s because the statute of limitation for filling an accidental claim in California is 2 years from the date of the accident. After this date, you cannot seek financial compensation for your injuries and medical expenses. So, if you do not pay due attention to your medical condition, you may have to bear the treatment expenses out of your pocket.

Seeking Claim for Your Delayed Injuries    

As long as your claim has not been settled and have not signed the release of liability form with the insurance provider, you have the opportunity to seek compensation for your delayed injuries. If you end your lawsuit too soon – without ascertaining all the injuries that you may have sustained during the accident – you may lose out on compensation. 

Thus, before signing the release of liability, you must achieve ‘maximum medical improvement’ (MMI). It means that you have achieved full recovery and the chances of undiscovered injuries due to the accident are close to zero.

Also, apart from getting a complete evaluation of your injuries from your medical provider, it is important for you to get an accurate estimate of your future medical expenses.  

A Car Accident Attorney Can Help You Secure Maximum Compensation for Your Medical Expenses

Estimating your exact medical expenses and recovering full accidental compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance provider could be hard. Having an expert attorney by your side can help you expedite the entire claim settlement process. With complete knowledge of the laws and ample experience in handling car accident cases, they can give adequate legal representation to your case and can help you move forward in the right direction. Your attorney can help you file a persuasive argument and secure maximum compensation for your damage so that you don’t have to bear the cost of your injury expenses.

Contact The Lawyers At Krasney Law for A Free Consultation Today!

You should also seek legal help from a car accident attorney in Rancho Cucamonga, California, who can help recover the compensation you are legally entitled to for the injuries. Call Krasney Law at (909) 380-7200 for a FREE case evaluation.


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