If you were involved in a vehicle accident in Pennsylvania, you might find it difficult to make sense of it all. Crash victims often experience trouble focusing — almost as if their minds are foggy. It is only natural to suffer emotional disorientation and mental trauma, and you might not realize that delayed symptoms might appear later, although you seem to have no injuries.
Amidst the many distractions of police reports and figuring out how it all happened, you might not realize the importance of a medical evaluation — hidden injuries may take days or even weeks to become apparent. The long-term consequences could be more severe the longer these injuries go untreated.
Typical delayed symptoms after car accidents
Rear-end collisions, even just a bumper-bashing incident, can cause hidden injuries, which are often linked to the whiplash motion of your head and neck on impact. The following aches and pains might become evident in the days or weeks after a collision:
- Back pain: Rear-impact and side-impact collisions often cause low back pain due to injuries to muscles and ligaments or damage to the vertebrae or nerves.
- Stiffness or pain in the shoulders or neck: Even low-speed collisions can cause whiplash-related shoulder and neck pain, which might need an MRI, CT scan or x-ray to diagnose correctly.
- Headaches: You might experience headaches after a collision, and although you might not be too concerned about it, it could signify a potentially critical problem, such as a serious concussion or other head or neck injury, or it could indicate a blood clot on your brain.
- Numbness: Damage to your spinal column or your neck could cause the loss of feeling or numbness and tingling in your arms and hands, and if left untreated, it could cause long-term problems.
- Abdominal swelling and pain: These could be signs of internal damage and bleeding, which may turn out to be life-threatening. Deep purple bruising and fainting or dizziness are also symptoms that need urgent diagnosis and treatment.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: If the accident left you with nightmares and disturbing, vivid memories and recurring flashbacks of the crash, it could indicate PTSD, which might need treatment by a therapist.
- Brain injuries: If you suffered a traumatic brain injury, such as a concussion, you might experience hearing and vision problems, impaired memory and thinking, depression, and other personality changes.
Physicians advise thorough medical examinations for all victims of car accidents, even with no signs of injury. If you develop delayed symptoms in the weeks or months after your accident, you might need to pursue financial relief to cover medical expenses, lost income and more. If another party’s negligence caused the crash, you could seek the support and guidance of an experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney to assist with the navigation of a civil lawsuit. Having detailed doctors’ reports to substantiate your claims will benefit your case.