6 Common Delayed Injuries That Occur After A Car Accident

Car Accidents can cause some major injuries, headaches and emotional stress, even when the vehicle has very little damage. These may present as delayed injuries after a car accident.

People can react very differently to a motor vehicle accident. One person may experience immediate discomfort while another may have no immediate symptoms or injuries, others might a whiplash injury or mild headaches. Injuries and headaches regularly appear days or even weeks later. In some cases, even more, serious injuries may not become apparent for many days, for example, traumatic brain injuries.

A lot of times the victim of a car accident will walk away from the incident feeling fine with their adrenaline pumping. When the adrenaline wears off, they might find themselves with mild post-traumatic headaches and count themselves lucky. Only to find themselves several hours/days later becoming unwell and starting to experience some potentially serious effects of the accident. This can be anything from whiplash headaches or sleep disturbances and mood swings to brain damage. You can never be too careful when it comes to the head.

When this situation happens it can, unfortunately, delay both your health and recovery but also the outcome of a personal injury lawsuit. In a lawsuit regarding car accidents, a vitally important area is medical documentation. So, if medical attention is delayed or not undertaken at all, it can severely reduce a settlement offer significantly.

When it comes to the head, and post-car accident injuries, it’s good to be informed of what you could expect, that’s why we created this list of 6 common delayed injuries after a car accident, to arm you with the knowledge you need to stay safe.

So, if you are involved in a car accident and you don’t appear to have any immediate pain and think you are fine, it is worth keeping these common delayed injuries in mind.

1. Headaches

Headaches after a car accident should be treated by a Charlotte chiropractor.

It can take several days for post-traumatic headaches after a car accident to be noticed, and initially are often not associated with the accident at all. Some people get headaches regularly and wouldn’t connect headaches with an event that happened several days ago.

They normally just take their medication for headaches, normally over the counter, in a hope it will go away not realizing it may be one of those post-traumatic headaches, caused by the auto accident and could actually be a symptom of head trauma.

However, headaches can be a sign that there is potentially something more concerning going on, that there has been some sort of head injury or worse, a traumatic brain injury, such as a blood clot. Headaches are often the first symptom of something more serious. You start to hope it’s just delayed concussion caused by a bang to the head.

It is worth noting that headaches after car accident can be a common injury whether you hit your head or not. The jolt caused by breaking quickly or the whiplash can be enough to trigger some headaches, like what’s commonly known as a whiplash headache.

The most important thing to remember is to never just explain your headaches away and put them down to stress or anxiety from the car accident or something else. Obviously, some headaches might be down to that, but If you were involved in an auto accident and you experience headaches or head pain days or weeks after the accident, then always see a doctor who can ensure you are not suffering from any type of traumatic brain injury or head injury. Be cautious and get checked out. Headaches are not necessarily just that.

2. Neck and Shoulder Pain

neck and shoulder pain after a car accident

Although the primary concern is a head or brain injury, another worry is damage done to the back or neck. One of the most common delayed injuries from a car crash is Whiplash  This is where neck pain is felt in the neck and shoulders and is often associated in accidents where the car has been involved in a rear-end collision.

The neck and shoulders have been extended further than their normal range of movement which then affects the joints, muscles, and nerves. A whiplash or any other injury to the neck and shoulders can also cause headaches. They can be severe headaches, or just mild persistent headaches, either way, they shouldn’t be ignored.

Whiplash can be very troublesome and in some cases very serious requiring proper diagnosis using either an x-ray, CT or MRI scan.

An experienced Chiropractor can detect neck injuries such as whiplash before any pain is being experienced, meaning that if the injury is caught and treated early enough it can help prevent long-term damage and pain. Therefore, it is important to seek medical advice as soon after an accident as possible. If you’re getting headaches, they can alleviate them. Call us now for a free consultation.

3. Abdominal Pain

abdominal pain after a car accident

Abdominal pain after an accident may go unnoticed for many days and could be a sign of something more life-threatening going on and one symptom that should be investigated as soon as possible. Feeling pain in the abdomen can be a sign of internal bleeding, symptoms of which may include:

  • headaches
  • deep bruising and purplish skin
  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • fainting

Internal bleeding can not be detected by yourself after an auto accident. Symptoms like headaches or dizziness are just too generic. it requires investigation by an experienced medical professional, therefore it is important to see your doctor at the onset of any abdominal issues you experience after an accident no matter how serious the car crash was.

4. Back Pain

back pain after a car accident

Back pain can be a delayed side effect of a car accident injury, this can include sprains, strains, and herniated discs. Back pain can be a sign that there is damage to the ligaments, muscles, or even to the vertebrae. Damage to the neck vertebrae can also cause the victim to have headaches.

Reports of back problems after a rear-end or side-impact collision are very common. It is also worth noting that you do not have to be involved in a high-speed collision to experience issues with your back. It is therefore important to always see a doctor to make sure your back has not been severely damaged in any way.

5. Numbness and Tingling

numbness and tingling after a car accident

Numbness and tingling in the arms and hands will often not present themselves for many hours after an accident. These symptoms can be an indication there has been damage to the head, neck or spinal column.

In this case, the damage is less likely the head but more often the back or spine. Often, many people who suffer from herniated disks after a car accident experience numbness or tingling prior to having any back issues. The spinal nerves become compressed when a disc herniates so depending on where the discs are damaged they can cause numbness and tingling in the legs or arms.

Image testing after an accident, such as an x-ray is important, as it will help identify if an injury has been sustained. If there has been any damage done then the imaging will allow a doctor to determine the best course of treatment required thereby helping to prevent any long-term damage and the symptoms becoming worse.

6. Fractures

fractures after a car accident

You would think that you would notice if you’ve fractured a bone after a car accident, but that’s not always the case. There are various types of fractures, some less obvious. It could just be that the bone that’s been fractured is not a weight-bearing bone, so you wouldn’t immediately notice the fracture or have the associated discomfort.

Another important factor to bear in mind is adrenaline. Life’s natural pain-killer. With adrenaline coursing through your system the fracture is masked, it’s only until your body starts to calm down, which could be several hours later that you start to notice the pain. You should immediately seek medical attention after the auto accident just to be sure.

Getting Medical Treatment After a Car Accident

If you or your loved one has been involved in a Car Accident in Charlotte, NC, it is very important to see a medical professional the same day the accident happens. This is not just for your health, but ask any good personal injury lawyer and they say it’s essential to your case and could impact any compensation claim.

With over 70 years of experience, chiropractors have the expertise and training to help identify the problems, even if they aren’t showing symptoms, and help start the recovery process. When attending our clinic you will be given a thorough examination to determine whether you have sustained any injuries that you are not yet aware of.

We strongly advise that you attend our clinic and have a thorough examination on the day the accident happens regardless of how you feel. As previously discussed, many injuries can take time to present symptoms, especially with head and spine trauma, and so getting checked out sooner means treatment can begin treatment sooner, thereby helping to get you on the road to recovery much much sooner. There are just too many risk factors to wait. We can advise you when headaches are just headaches and when they are a symptom of something more serious like a back injury or closed head injury.

Whatever you do, don’t sit at home after the car crash, suffering from headaches, thinking you’ll be fine only to find out a week later you have been severely injured. That the headaches or head pain was actually a brain injury. It is always best to get yourself fully checked over by an experienced accident doctor as soon as you can after your accident.

Tebby Chiropractic and Sports Medicine Clinic
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