Immediately following a car crash, many people do not realize that they are injured. Whether due to shock or adrenaline, the symptoms of serious injuries may not be felt for hours, even days, after a collision. Unfortunately, while some injuries may heal on their own, often they become worse without proper medical treatment.
An undiagnosed internal injury can be life-threatening. This is why it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible after a motor vehicle accident.
With a thorough medical examination, your doctor may be able to identify any delayed onset injuries. Catching injuries as soon as you can helps prevent both short- and long-term complications. An exam may even save your life.
Take abdominal pain seriously
Any time that you feel abdominal pain after an accident, head straight to an emergency care facility. Both internal bleeding and organ damage can cause abdominal pain some time after an accident. Both can pose serious threats to your life.
When you suffer internal bleeding, you face the same risks as you would if you suffered external bleeding. Too much blood loss too quickly is deadly in a matter of minutes or sometimes even seconds. But, even a small internal injury is potentially deadly if it gets infected. Internal infections around circulatory wounds spread easily to the rest of the body, causing sepsis or death.
Likewise, if an internal organ is damaged, your body will attempt to keep it running as long as possible while working to repair itself internally. However, in many instances of organ damage, the organ simply cannot heal and can shut down. Once one organ shuts down, other organs may as well.
Head and back injuries can cause long-term disabilities
If your head is hit or violently jarred without hitting anything, you may suffer a concussion. While some may downplay the seriousness of a concussion, it is a traumatic brain injury (TBI.) While some head injuries are immediately noticeable, TBI symptoms may take days or even weeks to appear.
Likewise, spinal cord injuries also might take time to cause pain in some cases. Nerves within the spinal column may get pinched, causing pain, numbness and tingling in your arms, legs or other parts of your body.
Take care of yourself
Be good to yourself and take the proper precautions against unnecessary suffering and danger by seeking medical care from a licensed and trained medical professional as soon as you can after an accident. Even a soft tissue injury or a mild case of whiplash can have you waking up the next day unable to move.