If you have been recently involved in an auto accident, then you should know that there is a potential for delayed-onset symptoms. Delayed-onset symptoms are those that take time to develop.
Much like how you don’t automatically have a bruise after you run into something, you may also not recognize the severity of an injury until it has time to develop. Some injuries suffered in an auto collision may not develop for 24 hours or longer. Those might include conditions such as:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Torn ligaments
It’s very important to remember that not all injuries appear immediately. It takes time for swelling and edema to put pressure on joints or to cause inflammation around an injury. Bleeding and bruising will develop over time, and the initial injury you suffered might be minimal at first but worsen as damage builds.
New or worsening neck pain could be serious
When you’re in a car crash, many chemicals are released by the brain. Those chemicals are designed to keep you alert and out of pain. When they begin to wear off, you’ll start being symptomatic if you’re injured. It’s at this point, usually hours or even days after a crash, that many people find that they thought they were okay but actually had injuries.
After a crash, it’s in your best interests to go to see a medical professional, whether that’s at the hospital or you opt to go to your primary care physician. This is because injuries may not be obvious to you yet, but a medical exam could find them before they worsen. In most cases, the easiest way to take care of yourself after a crash is to go with the emergency medical team in the ambulance. They’ll take you to the hospital to be assessed, and you can seek compensation for that visit from the at-fault driver at a later date.
Don’t put off seeking care just because you think you’re fine after a crash. If you were in a crash involving any amount of force, there is a potential that you have delayed-onset injuries that need attention.