When you think about injuries from a car accident, you likely picture severe head wounds or broken bones – the kind of injuries that are obvious or easy to identify. While those are common injuries, they’re not the only kind. Many injuries from a crash are internal or come across as minor – until they aren’t.
Injuries with delayed symptoms can be severe as you’re not aware that you might even have an injury at all. You could walk away from a crash feeling a little shaken up but okay. Then, days later, you might experience pain that you can’t explain. It could be the result of your crash.
It’s essential to recognize some of the delayed symptoms and injuries that can occur.
Headaches are common enough that many people might dismiss this as a symptom of a larger issue. However, after an accident, you should be extra cautious of headaches as they can be an indication of serious injuries such as a concussion, whiplash, or brain injury.
Blood clots are another potential injury that can be a cause of persistent headaches. If your headaches do not recede on their own, consult with a doctor as soon as possible.
Neck or shoulder pain
Pain in the neck or shoulder area can result from the force of your head hitting your seat or window during a crash. This type of pain is a common indicator of whiplash but can also cause headaches and a limited range in motion.
Neck and shoulder pain may also be a symptom of a spinal cord injury, which requires medical attention immediately.
Internal bleeding can be a cause of severe abdominal pain. You may also experience related symptoms such as bruising of the skin and dizziness. Internal bleeding is not always evident immediately after an accident, but it can pose a serious threat. As soon as you notice these dangerous signs, you should get medical help.
Not all pain after an accident is entirely physical. If your attitude and behavior changes after the accident, you may develop depression or PTSD. A traumatic brain injury can also cause severe mood swings and personality changes.
What you should do
You likely received medical treatment after your crash, but as the days pass and you notice more symptoms, it’s crucial to revisit the doctor. A follow-up can determine the severity of any symptoms and ensure you receive the proper care for recovery.