Delayed symptoms following a vehicular accident can appear hours or days after the crash. For most people, symptoms are minor and usually subside within a few days after a collision. For other accident victims, symptoms can become excruciating, which is a common sign that his or her body is warning them that something is not right. Any pedestrian, car, truck, bicycle, or scooter accident can injure a victim’s neck and spine during a crash. The brute force is often enough to cause an array of symptoms that may intensify for days or weeks. Anyone involved in an accident should never refuse medical attention from first responders at the scene or afterward at an emergency room. Only a medical examiner can test for a loss of function and strength, a limited range of motion, and possible signs of spinal cord injuries. When severe pain patterns exist, digital x-rays and MRI imaging may be required to fully evaluate the physical damage caused by a car, truck, two-wheel, or pedestrian accident.
Hidden Signs You Were Injured in an Accident
When adrenaline levels are high, most people feel thankful that no one was seriously injured. So, following a crash, the accident victim may not think that they have been injured. Nonetheless, auto accident injuries can cause a lifetime of pain if the victim fails to receive the appropriate medical attention for injuries, such as:
- Headaches or Dizziness – Symptoms of a whiplash injury can be delayed. In many cases involving severe whiplash, the accident victim will have a concussion caused by the brain slamming against their skull. So, ignoring headache, dizziness, or vision problems can prove fatal.
- Anxious or Confused – Emotional distress, depression, nausea, and confusion are early warning signs that you may have been injured in an accident. Victims who are concussed can have a wide range of symptoms that suddenly worsen. They may not know the extent of their injuries until he or she has a thorough medical evaluation.
- Neck and Shoulder Pain – Neck pain and shoulder pain are common complaints following a whiplash injury that results in sprains, soft tissue tears, or pinched spinal nerves. Upper body stiffness can lead to mechanical problems with the victim’s shoulders, arms, and hands.
- Numbness or Tingling – Feelings of tingling and numbness following an accident can be due to instability in the spinal joints. These range from mild trauma like a concussion to traumatic brain injury. Whiplash injuries can compress nerve roots and produce a radiating weakness or pain in the arms, legs, hands, or feet.
- Core Body Pain –Physical damage from a high-velocity impact can crush blood vessels causing a hematoma. Left untreated, core body injuries can quickly go from bad to worse and may be sufficient to cause unexpected death. If something hurts inside following an accident, it should be checked out by a qualified healthcare professional.
- Low Back Pain – Following an accident, nerve fibers between vertebrae can become compressed due to disc injuries where the nerve emerges from the spinal column. Soft tissue like tendons and ligaments can also be torn or strained during an accident and inflammation may cause severe pain patterns in the mid to lower back that radiates down the legs.
Determining the extent of an injury and locating the physical site of a victim’s injuries is crucial for determining the best treatment methods. After a physician determines there is no visible nerve damage or fractures, they may prescribe pain medications, rest, physical therapy, acupuncture, or chiropractic care depending on the severity of the injuries. Such treatments are often needed for managing pain and restoring physical function over extended periods of time.
High-Velocity Accidents Can Require Long-Term Care
Victims of car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents often suffer nerve injuries and spinal damage but do not seek medical attention because they self-diagnose their injuries to be less serious than they really are. The problem is, that most people do not know the warning signs for soft tissue and spinal cord injuries. This means they also lack the diagnostic skills to determine whether they require immediate medical attention or not. Sharp, aching, or burning pain that radiates outward or a shooting pain that causes numbness in the extremities needs to be seen by a qualified medical provider.
The timing and treatment of spinal cord and joint injuries play a significant role in the overall recovery time following a collision. Partial paralysis, uncontrollable muscle spasms, feelings of pins-and-needles, or hot and cold sensations can result in long-term pain when left untreated. Accident victims who seek a timely diagnosis and treatment of soft tissue and nerve injuries have a better chance of healing. Untreated injuries from blunt trauma, spinal compression, or the overextension of muscles and ligaments can cause problems for the rest of your life. Remember time restrictions do apply to seeking compensation of medical costs and other personal damages.
If you were severely injured in a vehicular accident, protect your legal rights to compensation by contacting Schackow & Mercadante to speak directly with a personal injury attorney.