Your car accident impact was violent. Through the initial trauma and confusion, you inventory yourself for pain. If you are lucky, you feel none. However, you should still seek medical treatment.
Delayed-symptom injuries are a normal result of traffic collisions. In fact, in cases not involving broken bones, pain onset more commonly occurs 24 to 72 hours after the crash. This delay is thought to occur because inflammation does not develop for 24 to 72 hours after such “soft-tissue” injuries.
If your spinal disc was injured instead of your soft tissue, weeks or even months can pass before you feel the pain caused by your collision injury.
If your car, truck or motorcycle does not exhibit much damage following a crash, do not mistake that for a sign that you are uninjured. More than 50 percent of all whiplash injuries are the result of accidents involving little property damage.
If there is little or no damage to your vehicle, that can mean that it did not absorb much of the energy of the impact but instead transferred the impact energy to you.
Some additional injuries that may go unnoticed initially because of delayed symptoms include:
- Vision problems
- Internal bleeding
- Back pain
You should seek medical evaluation following any traffic collision because if you are unaware of your injuries, you may worsen them just by engaging in everyday activities. This can result in more extensive damage and longer recovery.
Even serious head injuries can exhibit delayed symptoms. Watch the victim closely and check them for disorientation by asking them easy questions like “Where are you?” Wake them every two to three hours if sleeping.
Shoulder injuries are another common type of car wreck injury that can exhibit delayed symptoms. The shoulder is comprised mostly of muscle and soft tissue that can tear, stretch and become impinged. The resulting inflammation may not manifest for days.