If you’ve been in a car accident and don’t think you were seriously injured, you should still see a doctor. Often, car accidents can leave you with hidden injuries that aren’t noticed for days or weeks later. Although it’s easy to see damage done to your car in an accident, assessing the damage done to your body is much more difficult.
Car crash victims usually walk away from a car accident with musculoskeletal injuries (such as whiplash) and not even know it. Usually, your adrenal blocks the immediate pain of injuries or your focus is on other passengers, or simply being thankful the crash wasn’t worse. This is because your body’s stress response produces endorphins, your body may be masking its own pain. Once these endorphins are gone, you may experience pain that you didn’t feel earlier.
The most common delayed symptom experienced by passengers in a car accident is whiplash. Whiplash is soft tissue damage in your neck resulting from the sudden acceleration and deceleration of your head. This can cause damage to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and discs in your neck and in the most serious cases can fracture or dislocate vertebrae. Symptoms associated with whiplash include headaches, difficulty moving your neck, slower reflexes, vertigo, muscle spasms, weakness or numbness, and stiffness in your arms and shoulders.
Another hidden injury that can occur after a car wreck is a concussion. Concussions are very serious and result from your brain colliding with the inside of your skull due to a rapid acceleration and deceleration of your head. Symptoms of a concussion include headaches, abnormally bad temper, nausea, spasms, loss of balance, blurred or double vision, disorientation, confusion, amnesia, ringing in your ears, and anxiety or depression.
The key to assessing your hidden injuries or delayed symptoms is to know if you were experiencing any of your symptoms before to your accident. Often a car crash doesn’t completely cause these injuries but makes minor aches and pains become significant injuries. Someone who spends a significant amount of time around you or someone who lives with you may be able to help you assess your symptoms. If you believe you are experiencing symptoms or an injury because of your car accident, see a doctor right away.
If you don’t have an attorney and have settled with the at fault party’s insurance company right away, you may end up footing the bill for treatment associated with these types of injuries. This is why it’s important to immediately hire an auto accident attorney to negotiate with the insurance company for you after you’ve been in a car wreck.
You should not be responsible for any of your medical care related to the accident, and an experienced attorney will make sure you don’t have to pay out of pocket for your medical care. Even if you don’t have health insurance to cover immediate medical treatment. A good personal injury attorney will have access to healthcare providers that will wait until your claim settles before they get paid for their services.
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