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How long after an accident can I experience injury symptoms?

You may feel very lucky after an auto accident. Your car was totaled, but you walked away from the crash with only minor cuts and scrapes. However, a few days later, you wake up with debilitating back pain or barely can move your neck. You likely are experiencing delayed symptoms from a car accident injury.

Delayed injury symptoms after a car accident

It’s very common for accident victims to experience delayed symptoms of an injury. You may experience delayed injury symptoms days, even weeks, after a car accident. Part of the reason for this is that your adrenaline surges in an accident, masking your injury. Also, some injuries have symptoms that become more noticeable over time. You may have delayed symptoms of a crash injury if you experience the following days, or even a week or more, after the accident:

  • Headaches
  • Neck or shoulder pain or stiffness
  • Numbness
  • Back pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficulty with movement or coordination
  • Flashbacks or nightmares

If you are suffering from neck pain or stiffness, you could be suffering from whiplash. If you are experiencing headaches, numbness or difficulty with movement or coordination, you could have suffered a traumatic brain injury If you are experiencing abdominal pain, you could be bleeding internally. If you have flashbacks or nightmares, you could be experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Seeking help for delayed injury symptoms

You should seek medical help as soon as you experience injury symptoms after your accident. You want a doctor to evaluate your injuries and have documentation of how serious they are for your personal injury claim. You also want to ensure you get proper treatment for your injury so you can start to recover.

If you don’t seek medical treatment for your injuries, you may hurt your ability to get maximum compensation for your accident injuries. If the other driver was at-fault for the crash, their insurance provider could claim your injury was pre-existing or not the result of the accident. If you don’t follow your doctor’s treatment plan for your injuries, that can affect your personal injury claim too.

You need to pay attention to your body and how you are feeling days and even weeks after an accident. You may have received an injury that you initially were not aware of. By seeking medical help when you experience any delayed symptoms of a crash injury, you put yourself in the best position to receive compensation for your injury costs and get the treatment you need to recover fully.

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