Following an auto accident, even if you feel fine immediately afterward (due to the adrenaline rush of the accident), you need to monitor yourself for several weeks for pain and other injury symptoms. Symptoms from the accident sometimes don’t appear until 24 to 48 hours later. These can include headaches, neck pain, back pain, dizziness, blurred vision, ringing in your ears (tinnitus), and fatigue.
Why Is There A Delay In Car Accident Symptoms?
When you’re in an auto accident, your body tries to protect you from the trauma by releasing a sudden surge of adrenaline. This is known as the “fight or flight” hormone and is designed to be released when you are in danger.
Adrenaline will produce the following:
- Increase energy
- Reduced or no pain
- Dilated blood vessels and airways that increase the flow of oxygen
- Increased strength because more blood is going to your muscles
- Changes in your vision and hearing that focus on sights and sounds ahead of you
Your body will also release endorphins that will keep you calm and help you respond to stress. This endorphin and adrenaline rush will eventually dissipate, and the pain from potential injuries caused by the car accident will begin to appear.
Common Car Wreck Injuries With Delayed Symptoms
1. Whiplash (cervical strain)
Most common auto accident injuries and symptoms may not show up for days, weeks, or even longer. Common symptoms of whiplash include persistent neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, or headaches. You might also experience blurred vision or dizziness that accompany a concussion, a common injury. Even numbness, weakness, or immobility in your arms or legs could be a sign that you have whiplash.
2. Concussion From A Car Accident
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.
Symptoms of a concussion:
- Changes in appetite or sleep habits
- Light sensitivity
- Sound sensitivity
- Mood swings
3. Spine injuries From A Car Accident
When a person is involved in a serious car accident, they may sustain a spinal cord injury. These injuries can have serious consequences for the central nervous system as well as the proper functioning of the rest of the body. Because the neck and spinal cord are so vulnerable, they are easily injured, and people involved in car accidents frequently experience long-term (chronic) back and neck pain as a result of the crash.
Common Spinal Cord Injuries:
- Cervical spinal cord injury
- Injury to the lumbar vertebrae
- A thoracic spine injury
- Disc herniation
- Facet joint injuries
4. Internal Bleeding
An injury from a car accident that damages the outside of your body is easy to see. A cut or tear in your skin usually bleeds. You can see what’s hurt, and it’s easy to pinpoint what caused it.
Internal bleeding isn’t as easy to see or diagnose. Less obvious causes can result in internal bleeding, too. These include gastritis, organ damage, or a bleeding disorder.
In some cases, the bleeding may be a sign of a life threatening condition. If you or someone you know suddenly develops the following symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. These could be symptoms of internal bleeding:
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in urine or stool
- Coughing up or vomiting blood
- Difficulty breathing
- Bruising on your thorax
- Leg weakness
5. Soft Tissue Injuries
The most commonly injured soft tissues are muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These injuries often occur during sports and exercise activities, but sometimes simple everyday activities can cause an injury. Sprains, strains, and contusions, as well as tendinitis and bursitis, are common soft-tissue injuries.
Common symptoms include:
6. PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Many accident victims struggle with emotional distress. The symptoms of emotional distress can last for a few days or weeks after the accident. Some individuals may experience symptoms for several months or longer.
7. Blood Clots
Blood clots form when certain parts of your blood thicken, forming a semisolid mass. This process may be triggered by an injury, or it can sometimes occur inside blood vessels that don’t have an obvious injury.
Symptoms of a blood clot include:
- throbbing or cramping pain, swelling, redness, and warmth in a leg or arm.
- sudden breathlessness, sharp chest pain (which may be worse when you breathe in), and a cough or coughing up blood.
14 Days To Seek Medical Treatment After A Car Accident In Florida
The Florida 14-day accident law requires injured victims to seek medical care within 14 days of a car accident in order to receive Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits.
Watch Joe’s YouTube Video On This Topic >
What Should You Do If You Are In A Florida Car Accident?
1. Call the police and file a report.
2. Swap information (including any insurance information they may have).
3. Gather details.
4. Take pictures/video
5. Gather the contact information of any witnesses.
6. Seek medical care immediately for any injuries, no matter how minor you think they might be.
GET MORE HELPFUL INFORMATION ON WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT HERE AT OUR “CAR WRECK CHECKLIST” >
Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm has been dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful, and we want to make the process as easy as possible for you.
Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.