A car accident can exert extreme and intense physical force on your body. Even if you do not suffer any obvious external injuries – such as lacerations, cuts, burns, or bruises – the force of the impact can result in serious internal injuries. Some examples include fractured bones, head and brain injuries, back and spinal cord injuries, soft tissue injuries like torn ligaments and tendons, and damage to internal organs.
In some instances, you might not feel substantial pain or experience other symptoms for hours, days, or even weeks after the crash.
If you have recently been involved in a car accident and are experiencing delayed pain, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible – even if you already saw a doctor immediately following the crash. Once you’ve started treatment, consider talking to the Atlanta car accident lawyers at Butler Kahn. We have been helping crash victims seek the compensation they deserve for their injuries for many years. Among our many professional honors, founding attorney Jeb Butler has a perfect 10.0 rating from Avvo.
If you think we might be able to help you with your situation, contact us for free initial consultation by calling our office or visiting our contact page.
Should I Worry About Delayed Pain After a Car Accident in Georgia?
If you have recently been involved in a car accident, you should seek immediate medical treatment to check for injuries you may not be aware of. It’s important that you continue to keep an eye out for any unusual pain in the days and weeks that follow. It may be a sign that you have untreated injuries from the car accident that require medical attention.
In the moment, you may not notice the pain because of shock and adrenaline. Delayed pain in your shoulders and neck is a common sign of an undiagnosed whiplash injury after an accident.
What to Do If You Develop Pain Hours or Days After an Accident
If you are experiencing delayed pain after a car accident, the most important step is to see a doctor for a thorough exam as soon as possible. This is true even if you’ve already seen a doctor, and they initially cleared you of any serious injuries.
Delayed pain may be a sign of a serious underlying injury. For example, delayed headaches after a car accident could be a sign that you have a traumatic brain injury, which could be fatal if left untreated.
After you’ve seen a doctor for any delayed symptoms you’ve experienced, your next action should be to talk to a lawyer. Even if your injuries weren’t immediately obvious, you are still allowed to seek compensation from the person or entities responsible for those injuries.
Georgia has a two-year statute of limitations for lawsuits related to personal injury claims. If you wait too long to seek compensation for your injuries, you will lose your chance at financial recovery.
Symptoms to Look For
Here are a few of the common types of delayed pain to watch out for after a car accident:
- Headaches – Headaches are very common after a car accident. Most headaches are fairly minor. If you have consistent headaches days after a crash, see a doctor to make sure you don’t have a concussion, a blood clot, or some other type of traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries are extremely serious and can have drastic health consequences, including death.
- Pain or stiffness in your shoulders and neck – Pain in your shoulders and neck days after a car accident is a classic sign of whiplash. These injuries can cause intense pain, especially if they’re left untreated.
- Numbness, especially in your hands, arms, and legs – If you suddenly start experiencing numbness in your extremities after a car accident, there’s a chance of damage to your spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries should be treated immediately to minimize the chance of any further damage.
- Back pain – Pain in your back, especially the mid or upper back, is another common sign of whiplash. It can also be a sign of more serious underlying injuries, such as damage to ligaments, muscles, nerves, or vertebrae.
- Abdominal pain – Bruises from seatbelts are common in a car crash, but large or persistent bruises may be a sign of internal bleeding, in which case you will need emergency medical treatment.
- Changes in your thinking or personality – A concussion or other brain injury can result in changes to how you think and behave. If you notice this, see a doctor right away.
- Difficulty with movement and coordination – Some stiffness is to be expected after being involved in a car accident, but persistent difficulty with movement or coordination can be a sign of a serious brain injury or damage to your spinal cord.
- Flashbacks and/or nightmares – Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common psychological ailment in the aftermath of a car accident. These flashbacks and nightmares can dramatically impact your daily life and cause you to panic in situations that remind you of the car accident.
How Long After a Car Accident Can Injuries Show Up?
Many car accident injuries show up right away, but others take a few days or even weeks to appear. For example, an infection related to an internal injury may take weeks to manifest and could lead to serious complications.
How long it takes for injuries to show up depends on the severity of the accident, your own body, the type of injury, and other factors. Do you have more questions about delayed pain after a car accident? Call Butler Kahn or visit our contact page to discuss your situation with an attorney. We’ll listen to your story, review your legal options, and help you move forward. There is no charge for the consultation and it comes with no obligations.