According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT), around 20 to 50 million people are injured or disabled due to car accidents every year. These injuries can vary from minor bruises and bumps to more severe cases.
While some of these injuries are apparently visible within the first few minutes following the accident, other times they are more difficult to spot. This can be a stumbling block in winning a personal injury case.
If you happen to be involved in an accident, bike accident lawyers highly advise you to see a doctor immediately even if you don’t believe you were injured or you only sustain minor injuries. This is because medical records and bills are important in filing a lawsuit. Aside from serving as solid evidence, they are also one of the principal types of damages that you can retrieve.
So what exactly do you need to look out for? Here are some of the injuries that tend to exhibit delayed symptoms:
A concussion happens when the brain reverberates inside your skull. It is considered a mild form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). While concussion sufferers usually recover after a few days, there are instances when concussions may lead to long-term problems.
Concussion symptoms include confusion, dizziness, changes in mood such as irritability or anger, changes in sleeping or eating habits, increased sensitivity to loud noises or bright lights, and decreased response time. The most evident symptom of a concussion is the loss of consciousness. A headache may also be experienced.
Whiplash is a neck injury that commonly occurs in car accidents. Similar to a concussion, whiplash usually occurs when the person experiences a sharp jerking motion in the neck. It is one of the most common types of injuries with delayed symptoms following a car accident, so you need to watch out for this.
Almost all patients typically experience neck pain after suffering whiplash. This pain is commonly experienced at the back of the neck although it can also extend to the shoulders, upper back or arms, and even the head. You may also experience dizziness, headaches, and changes in sleep patterns, blurred vision or other symptoms such as tinnitus or ringing in the ears.
- Spinal Cord Injury
According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC), 46 percent of spinal cord injuries were caused by motor vehicle accidents. This injury results from the damage to your spinal cord, the disks, ligaments, or the spinal column vertebrae.
Symptoms of spinal cord injury may include neck and shoulder pain, back pain, numbness, and bruising.
- Soft Tissue Injury
Among the most common soft tissues injured are ligaments, muscles, and tendons. A soft tissue injury usually occurs during exercise and sports activities. However, car accidents can cause injuries to the soft tissues as well.
After an injury to a soft tissue, you will usually experience some form of pain, which varies depending on the injury. Swelling is also common especially in the area of the injury, as well as discoloration, difficulty bearing weight, and stiffness.
- Psychological Trauma
People who experience serious trauma may experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This mental disorder is usually associated with groups such as sexual assault victims and combat veterans but can also occur among others such as car accident victims. The symptoms of PSTD may take awhile to progress, but they can greatly affect a person’s quality of life.
Car accidents can happen anytime, and this incident can possibly shatter a person’s confidence and security. This is why everyone is advised to take extra caution while on the road. When accidents do occur, it is best to know what your rights are. If you are not certain how to handle the event, it is recommended to seek legal advice. It is also highly important to have yourself checked by a doctor to assess any injuries.