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What to Do for a Delayed Car Accident Injury

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Man with neck injury at doctor's office
Many car accidents only involve property damage and amount to little more than minor annoyances. For example, out of 131,390 total reported car accidents in Missouri in 2021, 97,207 only involved property damage. However, some people might initially believe that their collisions were relatively minor only to start showing symptoms of injuries several hours or days later. Scroll down to learn what to do if you have a delayed car accident injury.

What to Do for a Delayed Car Accident Injury

If you start showing symptoms of a delayed car accident injury, including pain or other issues, you should see your doctor immediately. Getting a medical examination is the only way for you to get a proper diagnosis and obtain treatment. If you fail to get prompt treatment, your injuries could worsen. Waiting to seek medical attention can also harm your potential car accident claim.

If you do not seek medical attention after your collision, it will be difficult for you to prove that your injuries were caused by your collision instead of an intervening event. The insurance company will likely try to blame your injuries on something else, making it hard for you to recover compensation for your medical bills and other losses.

The best approach is to see a doctor as soon as possible after a collision. Even if you do not initially believe that you have been injured, certain types of injuries might not show symptoms for days. Promptly obtaining a diagnosis and starting treatment can improve your prognosis and protect your potential car accident injury claim.

Causes of Delayed Car Accident Injuries

When you are involved in a car wreck, your body’s natural fight-or-flight response will kick in, flooding your system with adrenaline. You might also experience shock in the aftermath of a collision. These physical responses can numb your body to the pain of an injury.

Shock is both a physiological and psychological response to traumatic experiences. When you experience shock, your blood pressure drops. Your blood will be redirected to your essential organs, and this can cause you to temporarily lose some sensation in your hands or feet. It also causes you to mentally disconnect from a traumatic situation and feel detached. Experiencing both a drop in sensation and mental detachment can result in you failing to mentally register your injuries right away.

Adrenaline is a hormone that floods your body when you encounter danger to prepare you to fight or flee. When your system is flooded with adrenaline, certain systems will not work properly. For example, adrenaline temporarily stops your body’s ability to repair tissues and masks the pain by limiting the signals sent to your brain. Adrenaline also causes your blood to flow to your muscles. Increased blood flow to your muscles might make you feel stronger, making you less aware of any injuries you might have suffered.

A third factor that can cause a delayed car accident injury is inflammation. While adrenaline and shock can shut down important functions such as tissue repair, they can also trick your brain into believing you are not injured. However, shock and adrenaline wear off after a few hours or up to a day, returning your body to its normal state. When that happens, your body will then react to injuries by causing inflammation of the injury site.

Inflammation causes more blood to flow to your injury, and your body will release chemicals to protect the part from further damage. In many cases, people feel inflammation before pain because inflammation can cause a sensation of warmth combined with redness in the affected area. However, as inflammation increases, it can cause swelling that can push on nerves, alerting you to your pain.

Common Types of Delayed Car Accident Injuries

Some of the common types of injuries that might have delayed symptoms include the following:

  • Whiplash
  • Concussion/traumatic brain injury
  • Internal bleeding
  • Back injury
  • Soft tissue injury
  • Psychological trauma

Seeing a doctor immediately after your collision can help you identify these and any other injuries that you might have.

Speak to a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have learned that you were injured in a collision because of the negligent actions of someone else, you should seek medical attention and then contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave. We can review your situation and explain your legal options. Call us today at 417-322-2222 (Springfield) or 417-624-4258 (Joplin) or contact us online.

Files under: Personal Injury