One of the last things that may be on your mind after being involved in a crash is seeing a doctor. You may be more concerned with getting your car fixed and ensuring that you have transportation. Unless your crash was severe enough to cause any noticeable injuries, you may not be aware that you've sustained an injury. Days or weeks later, you may develop pain and discomfort that wasn't there before your crash occurred.
The most common reason why pain and discomfort are delayed after a crash is the release of adrenaline. This is the body's natural fight-or-flight response that makes most people impervious to pain during emergency situations.
Common injuries that cause delayed pain and discomfort
Even if you feel fine after a crash, you may have sustained any of the following injuries:
- Whiplash — This is an injury to the soft tissue of the neck and is common in rear-end collisions. The muscles and ligaments in the neck become damaged when the neck quickly moves back and forth. Days after a crash, you may experience neck pain, stiffness and loss of mobility. In addition, you may feel dizzy and tired; feel tingling and burning in the limbs; and have pain in the upper back and shoulders.
- Muscle strain or tear — A strain or tear to the muscles can be very painful and can also cause swelling. Even after a muscle heals, it could knot up and cause prolonged aching and discomfort to the affected area. Surgery may be required if a tear is severe enough.
- Soft tissue sprain or tear — Sprains and tears can damage the tendons and ligaments in the joints and spine. Intense pain, swelling and inflammation can occur as a result. Surgery is often required to repair torn tendons and ligaments.
- Bruises — Bruises are often caused by blunt trauma to soft tissue. Pain, swelling and discoloration often accompany bruises.
- Back injuries — Lumbar sprains and strains, and herniated discs often cause low back pain, weakness and pain in the lower extremities.
Why it's important to see a doctor after a crash
The best way to find out if you sustained a crash-related injury is to see a doctor promptly. Through a physical examination, X-ray, MRI, or CT scan, your doctor can determine what type of injury you sustained. Getting your injury diagnosed and treated early on can benefit you in two ways:
- It speeds up your recovery time and prevents your injuries from getting worse.
- Your medical evaluation, diagnosis and treatment are documented. Insurance companies can't argue that you waited too long to see a doctor.
After seeing your doctor, it's important that you speak to an experienced Delaware car accident attorney. The Law Office of Edward C. Gill, P.A. can help you pursue a strong legal claim against the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company. Our legal team has decades of experience helping crash victims and their families maximize their compensation. We'll gather the facts, take on the insurance companies and fight for a fair financial settlement. You only need to focus on your recovery.
Contact our law firm online to schedule your free and confidential case consultation.