Driving is an American necessity which is obvious with almost 270 million registered vehicles and 222 million drivers with active licenses nationwide. But being a licensed driver doesn’t guarantee someone’s a responsible driver. The US Department of Transportation released a statement that over 6 million car crashes occur annually, ranging in severity from a reportable fender bender to a parent’s worse nightmare. Most people walk away from a car accident with little more than a few bruises, bumps, scratches, or a headache. But some accidents are far more serious, resulting in emergency visits, extended hospital stays, and even fatalities. In fact, there were over 40,000 car accident-related fatalities in 2017 alone. The average American is in three-to-four accidents in their lifetime, but many people experience far more. Being able to walk away from a crash doesn’t mean you’re necessarily free from the injuries. Delayed injuries occur, but how can you tell if yours are due to a car accident?
Headaches or Neck and Shoulder Pain
Headaches are among the most common symptoms after a car accident. They could seem mild or just annoying at first, but they can be a sign of something far more serious like a concussion or head injury, whiplash, neck injury, or blood clots. Sudden or ongoing pain in the neck and shoulders are good indicators of whiplash. Stiffness in either could also indicate a herniated disc or other spinal injuries. Never just assume this type of pain is due to stress from the accident alone.
Back pain of any type can be a sign of pulled or damaged muscles or ligaments. But when the pain is specifically in the lower back, that could be another sign of whiplash as well as sprains, a herniated disc, or damage to your vertebrae. Left unattended, it can also lead to sciatic pain and nerve damage.
Abdominal Pain or Nausea
Pain and swelling of the abdomen can signify potential internal bleeding. This is especially dangerous when combined with headaches, dizziness, fainting, and deep bruises. Nausea can be a part of that recipe or indicate something else entirely, including a possible concussion or other brain injuries. Regardless, these issues should never just be blown off as stress. If they’re not treated early enough, they can be life-threatening.
Numbing Sensation or Weakness in the Limbs
A herniated disc or spinal nerve damage can cause many symptoms. One major sign is the numbing, weakness, or even pain in a hand, arm, or leg. In some cases, multiple limbs may experience different sensations simultaneously. These symptoms are not normal stress or exhaustion reactions and should be checked out by a medical practitioner immediately to avoid future, and possibly serious, consequences.
Emotional Changes or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Anxiety is a common delayed symptom after a car accident, but so is depression. Many people, unfortunately, experience mood and behavioral changes due to untreated concussions or head injuries. Even a bump on the head can cause the brain to shake or bruise. In some cases, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can develop and result in night terrors, reliving the accident during waking hours, and a sudden fear of driving or riding in a vehicle. But you don’t have to suffer alone when a competent Michigan auto accident attorney can help you get the treatment you need and the remuneration you deserve.