Car accidents have the potential to significantly affect your health, regardless of their severity. Even minor fender-benders can result in nagging injuries that can take months or even years to recover from. However, it can often be tough to pinpoint any indications of a serious injury—especially in the chaotic aftermath of the collision. How do you know you’re okay after an accident, and how can you be sure you haven’t suffered serious injuries?
Common “Hidden” Car Accident Injuries
It is important to note that even a small car accident can produce enough force to cause significant harm to the driver and all passengers of a vehicle. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent due to the circumstances. These include:
- Soft tissue injuries such as bumps and bruises
- Whiplash: neck, head, and shoulder pain caused by the sudden jerking motion of an impact
- Any internal injuries in serious accidents
- Tinnitus due to the loud noises in the impact
- A concussion from your head impacting the steering wheel or the side windshield
- Any other lasting psychological or emotional damage
Why Should I See a Doctor as Soon as Possible?
It is always recommended to consult a doctor if you have been in a car accident with some sort of impact. Bumps, bruises, and even fractures may not be immediately apparent immediately following an accident. The adrenaline rush of an accident puts us in a heightened state that tricks our brain into “ignoring” pain signals.
It is usually when that adrenaline wears off that many people begin to feel the full extent of their injuries. However, it can take anywhere from hours or even days for symptoms to become fully present.
A medical professional can undergo a comprehensive examination of your body to ensure you don’t have any serious injuries that may require additional medical attention – essentially diagnosing your pain before you even feel it.
Signs of Emotional Distress After a Car Crash
It is also important to note the emotional, psychological effects of a car accident. Crashes can be traumatic experiences for everyone: the passengers may be profoundly affected by the sudden vulnerability, while the driver may hold onto the overwhelming burden of responsibility for everybody’s injuries.
If any of these signs of psychological and emotional distress persist following a car crash, seek medical help immediately:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Memory loss
- Issues with concentration
- Depression and anxiety
- Personality changes
- Difficulty controlling your emotions
- Loss of interest in things you previously enjoyed
- Panic attacks
- Lack of motivation
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be a crippling result of a serious car crash, and it can affect everyone involved in a car accident—regardless of the severity of their injuries. It is important that we take psychological and emotional impacts as seriously as physical ailments. They impact our quality of life as much as physical injuries—and some may argue that psychological and emotional damage may take longer to recover from as well.
What If My Injuries Show Up Later?
If any injuries or pain show up days or even weeks following an accident, seek medical help immediately. There may be medical issues that have developed further or worsened due to the lack of medical attention. For example, many may dismiss some forms of back pain as a bruise or whiplash suffered during the accident. However, if that proceeds to numbness, tingling, and lack of feeling in your extremities, it may indicate a more serious issue like a spinal cord injury or fracture.
Additionally, any signs of dizziness, light-headedness, or headaches should not be ignored. They can be signs of more serious delayed injuries such as concussions and traumatic brain injuries.
When to Contact a San Antonio Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in San Antonio and sustained injuries, it is highly recommended to consult a car accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. Even if your injuries are unknown at this point, a lawyer can help you secure any compensation needed for any medical bills, ambulance costs, and other expenses retained as a result of the accident. If another party was deemed at fault for the accident, an attorney can also help you file a claim against the party, holding them accountable for any negligent actions that led to the accident.
Ultimately, an attorney can give you the support and assistance needed during a time when you may not have the physical or emotional capacity to do so.