Just because you feel okay after a car accident doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear. Injuries don’t always make themselves known right away. In fact, you might not even begin to notice the symptoms of an injury until days or weeks after your accident. It will help to know which symptoms to watch for as you get back on your feet.

Keep an Eye Out For These Delayed Injury Symptoms

Don’t dismiss aches, pains, or unusual changes in your health in the weeks after your accident. These could be symptoms of underlying injuries that might need medical treatment.

Headaches

When you’re in a motor vehicle accident, it’s not uncommon to bump your head on the window, steering wheel, or frame of the car. The impact of the collision can also cause your brain to move around in your skull, which can lead to a traumatic brain injury. Headaches, even mild ones, are one of the first indicators that you’ve sustained a brain injury, whiplash, or concussion.

Neck Pain

Just because your car suddenly stops moving in an accident doesn’t mean that you don’t still have momentum. Your torso and body might be secured by a seatbelt, but your head is free to move. It’s common for your head to snap back and forth – like a whip – upon impact. This can create a significant strain on the muscles and tissue in your neck and back.

It can take a while for you to notice tenderness and soreness in these areas. You might even notice that your neck gets stiff and it becomes difficult to move. You’ll need to seek medical attention to get a diagnosis. These delayed symptoms could be indicative of:

  • Whiplash
  • Soft tissue injury, or
  • Spinal cord damage.

Prompt medical care will be necessary to minimize the extent of your injury.

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain or swelling are red flags if you’ve recently been in a Texas car accident. These are signs of internal bleeding, which demand immediate medical attention. Do not hesitate to see a doctor or go to the ER if you have abdominal pain, especially if you also experience:

  • Bruising
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting, or
  • Headaches.

Internal bleeding and other internal injuries can become life-threatening if left untreated.

Back Pain

Back pain, particularly in the lower back, can be indicative of common car accident injuries, including:

  • Spinal cord damage
  • Slipped or herniated disc
  • Compression fractures, or
  • Cervical vertebrae fractures.

These injuries can progress and worsen rapidly without proper medical care.

Numbness and Tingling

Do you feel any numbness or tingling in your arms, hands, or fingers? How about your legs, feet, or toes? If so, go to the emergency room right away. These are symptoms associated with injuries involving the spinal cord. Numbness and tingling can be precursors to loss of feeling, or paralysis.

Behavioral or Emotional Changes

Sometimes symptoms aren’t physical. Sometimes changes in your behavior or emotional wellness are symptoms of a physical injury. Most commonly, changes in your emotions or behaviors indicate an injury involving the brain. When your brain is damaged in an accident, it can alter how you act, perceive things, or feel.

Can I Still Get Money If I Don’t Notice My Injury Right Away?

Probably. Some injuries might be asymptomatic for a while after your accident. Unless a doctor is looking for a specific injury, you might not know about it until days or weeks after a crash when you begin to notice delayed symptoms.

As long as you do your best to seek medical care as soon as you notice your symptoms, you should be able to seek compensation if someone else is to blame. In Texas, under the state’s comparative negligence rules, you can pursue damages as long as you share no more than 50 percent of the blame.

You’ll also have to mitigate your injuries after an accident. In other words, get medical help as soon as you notice something might be wrong. Delaying care can adversely affect your ability to get the money you’d otherwise deserve.

If you need more help, speak with an Austin personal injury lawyer at Lorenz & Lorenz, LLP today. We offer a free consultation for your convenience.