| Read Time: 4 minutes | Car Accidents
delayed symptoms after car accident

Many injuries are felt immediately after a car accident, such as a burn or a broken bone. However, some injuries do not manifest immediately after the accident.

These delayed symptoms after a car accident may have life-threatening consequences and cause severe damage to your body if they are left untreated.

If you or a loved one were recently in a car accident, be sure to get examined by your doctor, even if you don’t think you’ve suffered an injury. At Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro, we want your health to come first. Never delay your treatment. 

Read on to learn about five common delayed symptoms after a car accident. If you have any questions, please contact us today!

What Are Common Delayed Car Accident Injuries?

The following injuries are common after a car accident, though not immediately noticeable.

1. Internal Bleeding

Some debris or parts of the car may hit you hard, causing you to bleed internally. Symptoms of internal bleeding can vary depending on the location of the bleeding.

Your head is the most concerning area of your body to experience internal bleeding. Symptoms for this type of injury include:

  • Paralysis in one side of the body,
  • Severe headache,
  • Altered cognitive abilities,
  • Dizziness,
  • Slurred speech,
  • Nausea, 
  • Vomiting,
  • Tiredness,
  • Shortness of breath,
  • Seizures,
  • Vision problems, and
  • Loss of consciousness.

Internal bleeding in your torso (chest and abdomen) can cause similar symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. But you may also experience:

  • Abdominal pain,
  • Chest pain,
  • Blood in urine, and
  • Black or tarry stool.

There may also be visible bruising around the abdomen. Bleeding can also cause swelling around the affected area and severe pain.

You might also go into shock from the lack of blood supply to your organs and tissues. Watch for the following symptoms of shock:

  • Fast pulse,
  • Low blood pressure,
  • Increased perspiration, 
  • Low body temperature,
  • Breathing fast,
  • Confusion, and
  • Weakness.

If you feel any symptoms of blood loss, ensure you see your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately. Internal bleeding can be life-threatening without treatment.

Internal bleeding is a hazardous injury because it may not be noticeable immediately after the car accident, especially if the blood loss is gradual.  

2. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder, also called PTSD, is a condition caused by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic or terrifying event.

Symptoms may not appear right away after a car accident. Symptoms may not surface until weeks, months, or even years later.

Symptoms experienced by people with PTSD can vary. Common symptoms include the following:

  • Intrusive memories. You may suffer from memories, flashbacks, or dreams of the event. You may also feel triggered by things that remind you of the event.  
  • Avoidance. As a victim of PTSD, you may try to avoid talking and thinking about the event. You may even try to alter your activities to avoid the people, places, and activities that make you think about the accident.
  • Changes in thinking and mood. You may have depression, lose interest in the things you used to like, and feel disconnected from your friends and family. 
  • Changes in physical and emotional responses. You may have difficulty sleeping or concentrating on daily activities. You may also get easily scared or angry.

PTSD can interfere with your ability to function every day. Talking to a doctor can help set you on a path to recovery and get you in control of your symptoms.

3. Whiplash

Whiplash occurs when, upon impact, the neck is forced forward and then back. The motion is like that of a whip, which is why the injury is called “whiplash.”

Symptoms of whiplash include the following:

  • Neck pain,
  • Stiffness in the neck,
  • Dizziness,
  • Headache,
  • Numbness in arms,
  • Fatigue, and
  • Decreased range of motion in the neck.

If you think your neck, head, shoulders, or upper back were injured in a car accident, make an appointment with your doctor.

Whiplash usually heals after a few weeks of treatment. But the longer your whiplash injury goes untreated, the harder it will be for a treatment plan to work.

4. Concussion

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that inhibits the function of the brain. Symptoms include:

  • Headaches,
  • Ringing in ears,
  • Nausea,
  • Vomiting,
  • Tiredness,
  • Blurred vision,
  • Confusion,
  • Amnesia,
  • Dizziness,
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Slurred speech,
  • Light sensitivity,
  • Personality changes, and
  • Difficulty concentrating.

If you suspect a head injury, you should have a CT scan or MRI at the hospital or doctor’s office as soon as possible. They will help identify any brain trauma.

5. Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal cord is part of the nervous system. It helps the body send and receive signals. Common symptoms of spinal order injuries are:

  • Loss of movement,
  • Loss of feeling of temperature,
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control,
  • Pain,
  • Loss of control or weakness on one side of the body, and
  • Trouble balancing.

After an accident, you may face problems like herniated discs, broken vertebrae, and damage to surrounding tissues and muscles.

What Are Problems with a Delay in Medical Treatment?

A delay in medical treatment can cause serious problems, such as exacerbating your injuries or making the road to recovery even longer.

Exacerbation of Injuries

A delay in treatment for your injuries can make your injuries worse. They can get more serious and become life-threatening. 

Longer Recovery

The longer you take to address your injuries, the longer recovery will take. Treatment may become more complex because the injury becomes more complex over time.

Depending on the injury, if you delay treatment for a long enough time, you may not be able to fully recover.

Damage Your Car Accident Claim

New Mexico law allows for car accident victims to sue the negligent party for compensation. If you fail to seek medical attention for an injury, it may be harder to connect the injury to the car accident.

If you cannot successfully connect the injury to the accident, you are less likely to recover compensation.

Contact Us to Talk to Our Seasoned Car Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, watch for symptoms of these five common delayed injuries. For effective treatment, your injuries should be addressed as soon as possible. 

At Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro, P.C., we won’t let insurance companies try to deny coverage for your injuries. Our experienced attorneys are committed to utilizing our resources to preserve your claim.

Contact us now for a free consultation.

Author Photo

Daisy Chaparro

Daisy Chaparro was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. A graduate from El Dorado High School in 2008 and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy from St. Mary’s University in 2012. Daisy then obtained her Juris Doctorate (magna cum laude) from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2015.

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