You probably count yourself fortunate if you walk away from a motor vehicle collision.
Except for jangled nerves, you may feel fine. However, symptoms of an underlying injury may not appear for hours or even days after the accident. Here are six red flags that require immediate attention:
- Neck or shoulder pain
One of the most common results of a rear-end collision is whiplash and the common symptoms are neck stiffness and shoulder pain. Conservative treatment is often prescribed, but your doctor may request X-rays to rule out a more serious condition.
Headaches are common after a vehicle crash and may not begin for days. Pay attention and seek a medical evaluation because a headache could signal a concussion, a blood clot on the brain or some other kind of head injury.
Another sign of whiplash is a numbness that develops in your hands or arms. Damage to your neck or spinal column can result in a loss of feeling.
- Back pain
A rear-end collision is a major cause of back injury. You may experience pain that relates to your muscles, nerves or ligaments or damage to your vertebrae. In the chaos that follows a car crash, you may not be aware of the symptoms of a back injury until hours later.
- Abdominal pain
If you begin feeling abdominal pain at any time after a vehicle crash, see a doctor right away because this kind of pain could indicate internal bleeding. Other indicators of possible internal bleeding are dizziness, fainting or areas of dark purple bruising on the skin.
You may not associate post-traumatic stress disorder with a vehicle crash, but this condition is quite common. You may have upsetting memories or flashbacks of the accident. Keep an eye on any children who may have experienced the crash, as they are very susceptible to PTSD.
A word about records
As the victim of a car crash, you may have some significant medical bills to deal with. Keep records of your doctor’s appointments and copies of all medical expenses and reports. These will help you obtain maximum compensation to cover your medical costs, lost wages and more.