It’s important to get medical treatment immediately after an auto accident. However, you may not realize you’re even injured. If you don’t go to the hospital or see a doctor right away, you still have options to prove you were hurt and get the compensation you deserve.
Steps to Take After a Car Crash If You Experience Delayed Symptoms
Even if you did not get medical treatment right away, there are steps you can take hours or days after the crash to get the ball rolling. Some important steps to take after a crash if you begin experiencing delayed injury symptoms include:
- Go to the doctor, urgent care, or emergency room.
- Contact your insurance company to report the accident and your injuries.
- Begin a post-accident pain and injury journal to document how your injuries affect your life.
- Keep all medical records, bills, accident reports, and other documents related to your crash.
- Hire a South Carolina car accident lawyer who can help you get compensation for your damages.
Why Do I Need to Get Medical Treatment for Delayed Injury Symptoms?
Immediately after the crash, your adrenaline may have been pumping. This can mask some severe injuries. However, symptoms that get worse over time can indicate serious injuries. Those injuries can become chronic problems with ongoing pain that significantly affect all areas of your life.
It’s important to get medical treatment to establish a baseline for the severity of your injuries. This allows your medical providers to compare how you are progressing over time. It will allow doctors to provide you with the best treatment possible to help you get better.
Additionally, when you get medical treatment from a professional, you are indicating to the insurance companies that you are actually injured. If you don’t get medical care or delay it for a long time, the car insurance companies may deny your claim because they don’t believe you’re hurt. Your medical records will provide proof of your damages.
Delayed Symptoms of Injuries After a Car Accident
The symptoms you experience after a car accident will depend on which part of the body was hurt and how severely injured you are. It’s not uncommon to experience delays of those symptoms. Some of the most common delayed symptoms include the following:
Whiplash occurs when your head snaps back and forth suddenly due to the impact of a car accident. The force causes the pulling and stretching of soft tissues in the neck and shoulders. This is extremely common in rear-end accidents and head-on accidents.
Some potential delayed symptoms of whiplash include:
- Reduced range of motion
- Pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders
- Blurry vision
- Jaw pain
- Muscle spasms
Internal bleeding may occur when there is blunt force trauma to the soft areas of the body, including the abdomen or chest.
Some symptoms of internal bleeding include:
- Abdominal pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
While large bone fractures are typically obvious, smaller bones may not be immediately noticeable. Your symptoms may be delayed. If you don’t treat a broken bone as soon as possible, you could develop long-term pain and disfigurement.
Some delayed symptoms of broken bones include:
- Pain or tenderness
- Delayed healing
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
A traumatic brain injury often results from a violent blow or bump to the head. It can also be caused by an object that pierces the skull. This is common in high-speed accidents where the car accident victim’s head strikes the steering wheel or windshield.
Delayed symptoms of a traumatic brain injury include:
- Slurred speech
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Memory loss
- Mood swings
- Loss of focus and concentration
A concussion is a type of head injury or TBI that is caused by a blow to the head or hit to the body. Concussions may be mild, moderate, or severe. However, their symptoms are often progressive, with many showing up long after the crash.
Some delayed symptoms of concussions include:
- Pressure in the head
- Balance problems
- Feeling sluggish or groggy
- Nausea or vomiting
- Memory problems
- Mood problems
- Ringing in the ears
- Sensitivity to light
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Many car accident victims experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or a type of shock after a crash. PTSD is a mental disorder that can occur in people who experience or witness a traumatic event, such as a serious car accident.
There are many symptoms of PTSD that can develop over time. Some of them include:
- Difficulty sleeping due to nightmares
- Vivid flashbacks
- Anxiety or depression
- Fear of driving or riding in a car
- Irritability and anger
- Racing thoughts
- Intrusive thoughts or images
- Intense distress at real or symbolic reminders of the trauma
- Physical sensations such as pain and nausea
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Get Compensation
Whether your injuries were immediately obvious, or the symptoms were delayed, you will likely have significant medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. You deserve compensation for your losses.
Attorney Venus Poe has extensive experience helping victims like you get the money they need to move forward with life. Call today at 864-523-0045 for a consultation of your case.