When you’re in a little bit of pain after a car accident, but you don’t have any obvious injuries, it’s tempting to try to ignore it. After all, dealing with the drama and stress that comes with going to the doctor’s office and filing an insurance claim is hard.
It’s a time-consuming process. Combined with your day job and regular responsibilities, you may not think it’s worth it to file. But, even if you’re just suffering from a headache, there’s a reason to move forward with your claim. You never know how your injury could continue to develop and what compensation you may need in the future.
Not all injuries appear at the moment of impact. While it’s easy to see that you have a broken arm or leg, it’s less easy to anticipate a concussion or the psychological trauma that could follow your accident.
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can create an array of psychological and medical problems. Any time you receive a blow to the head that causes your brain to bounce against your skull, you have the potential of getting a concussion.
You can also have a concussion without being hit in the head. If you are in a car accident where your neck jerks violently, it can cause a similar effect.
Symptoms of a concussion include:
You don’t have to be rendered unconscious in order to get a concussion. So be cautious after an accident and get an evaluation.
Whiplash is the term for when your neck experiences a sharp back and forth motion. It frequently occurs during car accidents, particularly when the vehicle is struck from behind.
Many people suffer from both whiplash and a concussion at the same time. Since the symptoms of the two conditions are similar, it can be difficult to determine which you are experiencing without an evaluation from a doctor.
Whiplash most often is characterized by pain in the neck. It can also extend down the back of the shoulders and up your neck to the back of the head.
Other symptoms include:
These symptoms can show up as long as five days after an accident. If you haven’t been to see a doctor yet and begin to experience pain consider visiting a physical therapist for exercises and stretches that can help you heal.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that develops after someone has been exposed to trauma. While it’s normally associated with combat veterans and assault survivors, people who have been in serious accidents also experience PTSD.
Because the symptoms of PTSD are mental and not physical, they can show up on their own timeline. They also can be difficult to diagnose and treat. If you are having problems sleeping or reacting to stress after an accident, contact a professional for treatment.
A soft tissue injury is a catch-all term for damage to your muscles, tendons, or ligaments. One type of soft tissue injury is whiplash, but there are others as well. Any sort of strain, sprain, or bruise you get is considered a soft tissue injury.
These types of injuries can take as long as a week to appear. Their severity ranges based on the extent of the impact that you experienced. If you begin to experience pain within a week of your accident, talk to a doctor.
Even if you don’t have pain after an accident that doesn’t mean that you don’t have an underlying issue. If you are injured in a car accident that isn’t your fault, seek treatment as soon as possible.
No one knows what they should expect physically after an accident. Make your health a priority by getting checked out.