When you are in a car accident, sustaining an injury is very likely. Many people incur injuries immediately upon impact and know they need medical treatment right away. If they’ve suffered a broken bone or deep lacerations, it is felt as soon as the injury occurs. Or a person may feel pain in their chest, neck, or back immediately after a car crash. However, some people don’t experience symptoms right away, yet they still may have a serious injury. Sometimes injuries and their associated symptoms take a few hours to a few days to manifest. These delayed symptoms didn’t present themselves immediately after the crash but were still caused by the initial accident. There is the possibility of delayed symptoms after a Kansas City car accident that start slowly and increase over time.
If you were in an accident in Kansas City and wonder what to do if you're experiencing delayed symptoms of injury, and they are getting worse over time, we can help. Please contact a Kansas City car accident lawyer. We can help guide you on what to do next.
Types of Car Accident Injuries
The types of injuries a person may sustain in an accident can vary widely. Some may be very serious, and others can be milder injuries. The injuries you sustain depend on the type of vehicle involved in the accident, the type of collision, where you were sitting in the car, and so on. Although people may not think of a “fender bender” as a serious accident, it is important to take any accident seriously, and seek medical attention. Even low-impact crashes have caused serious injuries to many people.
Common Injuries Caused by Kansas City Car Accidents
- Soft tissue injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Broken bones
- Burns and disfigurement
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Skull fractures
- Loss of limbs and amputation
- Chest injuries
- Internal organ damage
If you’ve suffered any of these injuries after a car accident, receiving prompt medical attention is the best way to protect your health. Prompt medical attention also documents your injuries and the causation between the accident and your resulting injuries, thereby increasing the chance that you will receive fair compensation for your damages.
Even if you thought you were not injured at the scene of the accident and declined to go to the emergency room by ambulance, it is wise to see your primary doctor for a complete examination as soon as possible for an assessment of any injuries that are not immediately noticeable. Even if symptoms do not present themselves right away, a doctor can diagnose an injury before symptoms appear. Even if you see your doctor and he does not diagnose specific injuries, pay attention to how you feel in the days and weeks following the accident and for developing symptoms that may manifest and point to a greater injury. Be sure to report any new or worsening symptoms to your physician immediately.
Delayed Symptoms After a Car Accident
Accident victims quite often experience delayed symptoms of serious injury. When you are in an accident, the whole shock of the situation, combined with the high levels of adrenaline from the stress of the accident, can mask or numb symptoms of injury. Once your body calms down from the stress of the event, you may start to experience increased symptoms of injury. Sometimes, this can take a few hours to a few days for symptoms to develop. For example, neck and back injuries can take up to eight days to become noticeable following an accident. Internal bleeding has been discovered from 24 hours to three days after a car accident. Concussion symptoms may not present themselves for a few hours or a few days after a car crash.
Other times, what started as minor soreness or aches that you thought would go away, don’t, and the symptoms begin to worsen. A person may experience a drop in blood pressure, severe pain, dizziness, vomiting, or other symptoms that were not present immediately following the car accident.
Another possible cause of delayed symptoms could be a health condition a person may have. For example, if a person has neuropathy caused by diabetes, and they are in a car accident, they may not feel the pain caused by a broken ankle or a deep laceration on their leg. A person who has chronic migraines may assume that is the cause of their headache when the cause could be a traumatic brain injury.
Symptoms to Watch for
- Numbness in the hands, arms, legs, or feet could indicate a more serious injury such as a spinal cord injury, herniated disc, pinched nerves, and spinal fractures.
- Abdominal pain may indicate that you have internal bleeding or damage to internal organs. Abdominal bruising and pain can be a symptom of Seat Belt Syndrome.
- Headaches may be a symptom of several injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, whiplash, skull fractures, concussions, and hematoma, to name a few, but can include other serious injuries also.
- Neck and shoulder pain could indicate whiplash or spinal cord injuries.
- Changes in emotions or personality could indicate a variety of physical or emotional injuries, such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, and brain injuries.
- Dizziness, nausea, and vomiting can indicate a brain injury, internal bleeding, concussion, and a variety of other injuries.
- Back pain could indicate injuries to the spinal cord, muscles, vertebrae, or ligaments. It can also be a symptom of whiplash or other neck injuries.
- Problems with speech, concentration, or focus could indicate a severe brain injury for which you should seek immediate attention.
These are only a sampling of the types of symptoms and injuries you could be experiencing in the immediate hours and days after a car accident. Any change in your normal behavior or physical health could indicate a serious injury for which you should seek medical attention. Ignoring your symptoms or hoping they will lessen with time could allow them to get worse and cause you to develop a permanent impairment or life-threatening condition. Please seek the appropriate medical care that you need. After you do, reach out to an experienced Kansas City car accident attorney who can advise you on how to proceed to get compensated for the injuries and damages you’ve experienced due to the accident.