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Common Delayed Symptoms After an Accident and the Injuries They Might Signal

People who walk away from an auto accident without an obvious traumatic injury may not have escaped unscathed. The body naturally produces hormones that mask pain and delay the onset of symptoms. Some internal injuries don’t start manifesting themselves until days or even weeks after an accident.

If you were involved in a motor vehicle crash, make sure to get to a doctor for evaluation as soon as possible to determine if you may have suffered harm. The following are examples of common delayed symptoms and what underlying injuries they may indicate:

  • Headaches — Post-crash recurring headaches can be brought on by stress but can also be signs of something more serious, such as a blood clot or concussion.
  • Pain in your neck and shoulders — This could be a sign of the most common delayed-onset injury: strain or sprain. It occurs when the muscles and nerves in the head and neck area are overextended due to violent back and forth movement at the time of impact.
  • Back pain — Adrenaline coursing through your body just after an impact can mask back pain for several hours. The pain could be coming from a herniated disc, a back sprain or other type of rupture.
  • Numbness in your extremities — Losing feeling in your hands or feet could be a sign of significant nerve damage.
  • Abdominal pain — If you have discomfort in your abdomen or it feels hard to the touch, it could be due to internal bleeding caused by an impact.
  • PTSD — Many auto accident victims suffer from nightmares, mood alterations and behavior changes, such as refusing to ride in cars anymore. Those are likely normal in the first few days after a crash, but if they last a long time then you could be dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a recognized medical condition.

You should always go to the doctor immediately after an auto accident, even if you don’t feel injured. The doctor might discover a problem during the initial exam or can have you undergo an MRI and other tests. Even if the diagnosis or tests are unrevealing, do not hesitate to go back to the doctor if you continue to experience pain or any unusual sensations. First and foremost, this is best for your health. You should do it for that reason but it also helps with your potential insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, because building a medical record of your injuries is crucial to proving damages.

If you were involved in an auto accident in Massachusetts, you may have injuries that entitle you to compensation. A lawyer at Feinberg & Alban PC in Boston can advise about your potential legal options. Call our office at 617-232-5950 or contact us online to schedule free, no-obligation consultation with an attorney.

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