Recognizing Common Injuries After a Car Accident
A car accident is a highly distressing event. You may experience fear, confusion and stress in the aftermath of a crash. The adrenaline from this experience may mask pain and other injury symptoms, causing you to assume that you are not injured. Our Birmingham personal injury attorneys recommend that it is important to go to a hospital immediately after a car accident, however, as you may have hidden or delayed injuries. Be on the lookout for the following symptoms associated with common car accident injuries in the days following a car accident.
Pain, Bruising or Swelling
Take a moment after a car accident to assess how you feel. While adrenaline can act as a temporary painkiller, you may still notice some pain radiating from one or more parts of your body. You may also physically be able to see swelling or the first signs of bruising. These are all common symptoms associated with a variety of car accident injuries, such as:
- Broken bones
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Muscle and tendon damage
- Strains or sprains
- Cuts, scrapes or lacerations
- Burn injuries
Check yourself head to toe for potential signs of injury. If you notice pain or other indicators of something wrong, include this in your police accident report and see a doctor immediately for treatment. Keep in mind that soft-tissue injuries can take hours or even days to display symptoms.
Neck Pain or Stiffness
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries associated with automobile accidents – especially rear-end collisions. Whiplash is an injury to the tendons, ligaments or soft tissues of the neck. It is commonly caused by the head and neck whipping rapidly forward and backward in a car crash. If you notice any pain, stiffness or immobility in your neck or shoulders, you may have suffered a whiplash injury. Whiplash can also cause headaches, fatigue, trouble concentrating and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
Numbness or Tingling
If you experience numbness or tingling anywhere in your body after a car accident, this is a red flag for a spinal cord injury. Damage to the spine can interrupt the messaging system between your body and brain, potentially resulting in the loss of sensation and ability to move below the point of injury (paralysis). Spinal cord injuries are incredibly serious. If you think you might have injured your back or spine, try to remain as immobile as you can until paramedics arrive.
If you suffered an internal injury in a car accident, it may present itself in the form of abdominal pain, discomfort, constipation, diarrhea, fever, fainting or dizziness in the hours after the crash. Swelling or deep purple bruising in the abdominal area could also be a sign of internal bleeding or organ damage. If you suspect this injury after a car accident, go to an emergency room immediately. Failure to treat an internal injury promptly can lead to organ failure and death.
Mood Swings or Behavioral Changes
There are many reasons why you may not feel exactly like yourself in the days following a car accident. You may be experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, for example, from the psychological trauma of the crash. One possibility, however, is a traumatic brain injury from hitting your head in the accident. A brain injury can cause mood swings, personality or behavioral changes, memory loss, confusion, dizziness, headaches, vision problems, restlessness, and emotional outbursts.
Injured in a Car Accident? Contact an Attorney
If you experience any potential signs of injury after a car accident in Alabama, see a doctor without delay. A physician can run tests to diagnose injuries that you may not have noticed immediately after the crash. If you discover that you have a serious injury, it is not too late to seek financial compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. Contact a Birmingham car accident lawyer at Drake Injury Lawyers for assistance with the claims process.