In 2015, North Carolina reported approximately 251,638 traffic crashes were reported, of which almost 124,000 people were injured. This was an increase of 11.1% from the previous year, according to the North Carolina 2015 Traffic Crash Facts, put out by the NCDOT.
Delayed Onset of Symptoms
Drivers and passengers often display obvious signs of injury after severe automobile accidents, but sometimes individuals involved in traffic crashes do not exhibit these symptoms until hours or days later. If you have been involved in a major or minor traffic crash, you should be aware that an injury could have occurred for which you are not yet symptomatic. It is common that an accident victim thinks they are uninjured at the time of the crash, only to find out later that they have suffered significant injuries with a delayed onset of symptoms. It is important that you let EMS evaluate you after a crash and go to the ER if you’re having any symptoms within the first couple days, because if you do not, an insurance adjuster can use your lack of treatment to attempt to prove that you were not actually injured, and are faking your injuries to get money. Having a record of medical treatments dating back to the crash is the best way to prove your injuries are real and legitimate.
If you believe an injury has manifested after your car accident you should have a medical evaluation done as soon as possible, and contact a reputable personal injury lawyer to discuss your options. Because some serious automobile accident injuries do not appear until after some time has passed, it’s important not to speak to an adjuster about your medical condition or the status of your injuries until you know for sure the full scope of your condition.
Don’t Ignore Headaches
One indication that you have been injured is the development of a headache a couple days after your accident. The occurrence of a headache after a traffic crash could be an indication of a head or neck injury, including a concussion or whiplash. If you have not yet received medical attention for your accident, and headaches begin occurring, it is vitally important that you received prompt medical treatment by a physician, either from your primary doctor or in an emergency room setting.
Neck or Back Pain
Development of pain in your neck or back after a traffic crash indicates you may have injured the muscles, ligaments, nerves or possibly a vertebra in your back. Spinal injuries are not always diagnosed by x-ray machines and a CT scan or MRI might be needed to identify the injury.
Additionally, pain that radiates from the point of origin or creates tingling or numbness in your arms or legs may indicate nerve or muscle damage, which is a serious condition that needs to be promptly addressed by your physician.
Pain, Bloating or Swelling in the Abdomen
You may have sustained Internal injuries in your crash if you’re experiencing swelling or bloating in your abdomen, with or without pain. These types of symptoms could be indicators of internal bleeding. Dizziness or fainting may also occur with pain in the abdomen. You should seek immediate medical attention because these types of injuries are life-threatening and often go unchecked due to their vague and unspecific nature.
Changes in Personality, Emotions or Motor Function
If you notice differences in certain physical functions, personality, or emotions after your automobile accident, you may have suffered a traumatic brain injury. Symptoms of traumatic brain injuries are often difficult to notice by the injured and are commonly brought to one’s attention by family and friends who detect changes in affect, personality, emotions or physical capability. If you or your loved ones notice any of these symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
You may not be aware of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder at first but many people experience PTSD after their traffic crash. Nightmares, insomnia, heightened anxiety, and fear of car travel are all potential signs of PTSD and require medical evaluation. PTSD is a serious mental illness but can be treated by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. The sooner you can seek out a professional the more effective the treatment will be.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
Speaking to a personal injury attorney is a smart move after any automobile accident. You may not display obvious signs of injury after your accident, but you might be suffering from a serious injury that has a delayed onset of symptoms. Seeking advice from an attorney can ensure your legal security and address any and all concerns about your accident, your medical treatments, and your unpaid bills. An experienced personal injury attorney can address your medical and legal issues and allow you to focus on what’s important: recovering from your injuries so that you may resume your normal life again. If you have questions about this or any other questions related to a car accident, call or email us today for a free, no-pressure consultation. We’re here to help.