You feel fine. No pain, no obvious injuries after a two-car accident in which the other driver failed to stop at a stop sign and crashed into the side of your car. After reporting the accident and talking with authorities, you drive home.
However, after a few hours of spending time with your family and eating dinner, you feel woozy. There is a strong possibility that you suffered delayed symptoms from that earlier accident. Delayed symptoms likely mean hidden injuries, and these injuries do not appear or strike right away. You need medical attention now.
Internal, back and neck injuries
A hidden injury with delayed symptoms can surface in even the most minor of car accidents. A delay in seeking help just may end your life. Here are some of the more common injuries that have delayed symptoms:
- Traumatic brain injury: Gradual headaches surface, potentially representing the sign of a concussion, bleeding on the brain and head and neck injuries. Dizziness and fainting also may occur. It is not unheard of to learn about people who declined medical treatment only to return home and die in their sleep.
- Internal bleeding: This can include the brain as mentioned above. However, other internal organs may have been damaged, too, such as the liver, spleen, heart and lungs. Injuries to any of these organs also may prove fatal.
- Back injuries: The lower back and spinal cord may suffer trauma, but the pain may not surface until several hours later. Injuries to the vertebrae can lead to lifetime difficulties, including multiple surgeries and even paralysis.
- Neck injuries: Whiplash often leads to soreness and stiffness in the neck along with severe headaches. Sometimes, the sensations of numbness and tingling occur with whiplash, a potential sign of nerve damage.
Walking away from a motor vehicle accident seemingly unscathed does not always mean an injury has not occurred. Delayed symptoms related to such accidents, sometimes, surface. Be careful, listen to your body and seek medical attention when something does not feel right.