If you are the victim of a car crash, you may walk away from the accident and, except for shaky nerves, feel perfectly fine. The problem is that symptoms of an underlying injury may not show up for days or weeks. One of the more common symptoms is a recurring headache, but other surprising issues may surface.
You might think that back pain is something that will simply disappear with time. However, it may signal damage to the vertebrae or injury to muscles, nerves or ligaments. In fact, lower back pain is reported as a result of more than half of all rear-end collisions and nearly three-quarters of all side impact or T-bone crashes.
Abdominal pain or swelling, which may not appear for hours or days after an accident, may indicate internal bleeding. Other signs are dizziness, fainting or areas of deep purple bruising. Internal bleeding can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.
Like recurring headaches, a change in personality may indicate that there is a concussion, which could be a precursor to traumatic brain injury. Watch for signs of depression as well, or issues with thinking, memory, hearing or vision.
You may not realize that following a vehicle accident, it is common to experience post-traumatic stress disorder. Children are very susceptible to PTSD and may suffer accident flashbacks, nightmares and disturbing memories of the crash.
Seek a medical evaluation
If you are injured in a car crash, you should seek medical attention promptly, even if you feel fine. Being proactive is not only important for your wellbeing, but you will need the physician to provide a medical report that ties your injuries directly to the accident. When you file your claim for financial compensation, the insurance company will go over that medical report carefully, and you want to be sure you are on track to receive a full and fair settlement.