Car accidents are among the most common reasons for emergency room visits in the US. But not all victims visit the ER because it is easy to overlook minor injuries like cuts and bruises. Assessing the damage to your vehicle, swapping insurance information, and talking to the police seem like more crucial tasks after a mishap. However, ignoring minor injuries is the worst mistake you can make because there could be deep-seated damage that does not show up right away.
Moreover, not getting a diagnosis and treatment immediately after the mishap can weaken your personal injury claim and deprive you of the compensation you deserve. You may witness a few symptoms after a couple of days as your inflammatory processes pick up. Here are the warning signs you must not overlook as they may indicate severe underlying problems.
Neck and back pain
Neck and back injuries are common when the violent force in a crash causes your head to swing forward and back abruptly. The sudden movement can cause whiplash, an injury straining the ligaments and muscles in your neck. A sudden jerk of the backbone can lead to slipped discs, another painful injury that can restrict mobility. These injuries can cause chronic pain and stick around for a long time. The only way to resolve them is by seeing a doctor sooner than later.
Another red flag that deserves your attention after a car crash is shoulder pain. Shoulder injuries are common in these mishaps because the upper body of the driver or passengers bears a majority of the impact. Bursitis, rotator cuff tear, or even a bone fracture are the possibilities when you suffer from shoulder pain. You may also develop a frozen shoulder down the line. The condition affects the movement of the shoulder joint and requires extensive physical therapy for treatment.
Headaches are perhaps the easiest to overlook of all injuries. You may shrug it off as a minor issue, but the problem could be more severe than you imagine. It is vital to get a diagnosis and look for a personal injury lawyer to help you claim compensation for long treatment bills and suffering. A headache originating at the base of your skull could be an indication of whiplash. A persistent headache could be even more disconcerting as it may be a sign of a concussion or traumatic brain injury.
Tingling and numbness
A tingling sensation or numbness can be a concern because it can have grave repercussions. You may experience it in any part of the body, and it could indicate nerve damage. An immediate diagnosis is essential to prevent the problem from aggravating. Leaving it unchecked can result in a loss of mobility and even affect your quality of life in the long run. Make sure you see a nerve specialist sooner than later, even if the problem does not seem too dire at present.
Dashboard knee is a common injury in car accidents. It occurs when the victim’s bent knees hit the dashboard at the moment of impact. The condition can injure the posterior cruciate ligament and even tear it. A tear can cause chronic pain and instability. You may even expect to be out of action for several months. It means you may miss out on work and lose your income. Proper diagnosis and treatment provide sufficient evidence to claim compensation for the injury and damages.
Abnormal sleep patterns
An accident can disrupt your sleep patterns in different ways. You may always feel tired and sleepy. Alternatively, you may suffer from insomnia or nightmares. The reasons for changes in sleep patterns may vary from psychological trauma to an underlying injury like a traumatic brain injury. You must get a diagnosis from a specialist at the earliest and start with the relevant treatment. Watch out for other signs such as mood swings, emotional distress, and loss of appetite because these may indicate mental health issues.
Most victims fail to associate abdominal pain with car accidents. But you may experience it due to a seatbelt bruise. The situation is more serious if the pain is accompanied by swelling in the abdominal region. It may be a warning symptom of damage to your internal organs or internal bleeding. You must see a doctor right away because a delay in treatment can be life-threatening.
No symptom is too small when it follows a car accident. Overlooking any sign can lead to long-term health issues. Moreover, you may end up missing out on personal injury compensation that you legally deserve when these injuries happen due to another driver’s negligence.