Whether you were involved in a fender bender or a high-speed crash that you managed to walk away from, you may have sustained serious injuries without realizing it. You may not have felt any pain after your crash, but rather, a discomfort that seemed minor enough to walk off. It could be minor discomfort in the neck or back. It's important to understand that your discomfort after a car accident could be a sign of something more serious.
It's common to feel a boost of adrenaline when a crash occurs. This hormone causes an increase in heart rate and oxygen. It is the body's natural fight-or-flight response. It also makes it difficult to detect injuries by masking physical pain.
Pain and discomfort are the body's way of alerting you of an underlying injury. It doesn't always have to be excruciating pain. Discomfort, tingling, dull aches, and spasms that weren't present before your crash may indicate that you need medical treatment.
Examples of discomfort after a car accident
We most commonly see crash-related discomfort with whiplash and other injuries to the neck and spine. Whiplash occurs when a person's head forcefully moves back and forth in a whip-like motion. This will often happen in rear-end crashes and frontal collisions. In most cases, a crash victim will feel fine after a collision. The discomfort in the neck, back, shoulders and jaw may not develop for several days.
Other symptoms, such as fatigue, disorientation, headaches, loss of mobility in the neck and tingling in the limbs may occur.
Discomfort may also be linked to abnormalities in the spine. The impact of a crash can throw the vertebrae (the bones that make up the spine) out of alignment. This can result in uncomfortable spasms and tingling that can make sitting, walking and performing certain physical tasks difficult.
Pain and other complications may also occur if you sustained a slipped or herniated disc as a result of your crash.
Soft tissue injuries
Injuries to the muscles, tendons and ligaments can cause discomfort and can get worse if not properly treated. These often include sprains, strains, bruising, pulls and tears.
Concussions are a class of head injury that commonly occurs during rear-end collisions as well as other types of crashes. Even if you do not lose consciousness, you may still have suffered a concussion. Your symptoms may include dizziness, nausea and vomiting, disorientation, vision changes, loss of memory, fatigue, and/or mood changes. Depending on the severity of your concussion and individual susceptibility, these symptoms may last several days, weeks, months or even years.
Should I see a doctor immediately after a crash?
It's crucial that you always seek medical attention promptly after a crash. An injury and proper diagnosis may be determined through a medical evaluation. You may learn that you need long-term rest and time off from work while you recover. You may learn that you need surgery and/or physical therapy if your injury is severe.
If you were not at fault for causing the crash, you shouldn't have to pay for the cost of your recovery. You may be facing mounting medical costs and financial difficulties while you're unable to work. In a perfect world, the at-fault driver's insurance company should pay for medical care and other losses related to the crash. Unfortunately, that's seldom how it works.
If you were injured in a crash, it is almost never a good idea to speak to the other driver's insurance company. Doing so can hurt your chances of getting compensated. Let an experienced Vancouver car accident attorney at The Scott Law Firm, PLLC deal with the insurance companies for you.
Our firm represents injured plaintiffs exclusively, and we regularly serve clients in Vancouver and Southwest Washington. Contact us online to schedule your free and confidential legal consultation.