At some point or another, unless you live in a very remote part of the world or never go near traffic, you will probably experience some kind of car accident. The frequency of car accidents and their commonplace nature often obscures just how damaging these experiences are, even when an accident itself is relatively minor.
In many cases, victims of car accidents walk away from the experience believing that they simply got very lucky and did not suffer any injuries, only to feel the pain of a potentially serious injury hours or even days later.
Delayed onset injuries range from "uncomfortable" to "potentially deadly," but without proper treatment, victims may not realize they even have an injury until the body produces pain and some serious damage is already done. Most car accidents are actually more destructive and violent than those who experience them realize at the time, because of the powerful cocktail of chemicals that the brain releases during intense moments, including adrenaline.
It is always wise to go straight to a doctor as soon as you can after a car accident, whether you feel any pain or not. A thorough medical examination can help you avoid long-term damage and suffering, or may even save your life. Once you safely address any injuries a doctor identifies, the medical documentation that the examination produces may serve as a strong basis for a personal injury claim.
Potential delayed onset injuries
Many injuries do not cause pain immediately, including
- Brain injuries, which may not manifest symptoms for a week or more
- Whiplash affecting the neck, back and torso
- Spinal cord injuries, which may produce pain or numbness and tingling
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
Depending on the severity of the injuries, you may not feel them for hours or even days, and in some cases, you may not feel them until it is too late.
Delayed abdominal pain may indicate that you suffered internal bleeding or organ damage, both of which can prove deadly if you lose too much blood, develop and infection, or suffer organ failure. If you have any abdominal pain at all after an accident, seek emergency medical care immediately.
Protect your future with swift treatment
Hopefully, your car accident only caused material damage and not physical injuries. However, if you do suffer some physical harm, carefully examine whether or not you have grounds to build a personal injury claim to cover your losses and keep your rights secure.