A car accident can be a shocking and traumatic experience, and everyone involved may have a different reaction — some people may become hysterical, and some may be in a state of shock. The trauma can cause emotional stress and physical pain. According to the CDC, more than two million accident victims are treated in an emergency room every year.
Some people do not experience any physical pain until several days after a car accident. If the accident causes a whiplash injury, physical therapy and chiropractic care may be part of the treatment plan for several months after the accident. If the pain does not subside, the victim might need injectable pain medication, which can reduce inflammation, or other treatments.
If you have been involved in a car accident, but are not sure that you have been injured, look out for these signs, which could indicate an underlying injury:
After a car accident, some victims experience headaches. The pain may go away in a few days, or it may become more intense. If you have recurring migraine headaches, this could indicate a spinal cord injury. A severe headache could also be caused by a blood clot on the brain.
Stiff Neck Muscles
Stiff muscles are common after a car accident. Whiplash usually occurs in less severe car accidents, and is usually caused by a rear-end collision. Whiplash is a serious acute medical condition, and the victim may need medical treatment. A doctor may give the victim a CT scan or an MRI to better assess the injuries.
Chronic Back Pain
Many victims have lower back pain after a collision. Sometimes, back pain will go away on its own. However, some accident victims have lingering back pain, which could be caused by pinched nerves or torn ligaments.
Deep purple bruises and abdominal swelling may indicate a serious medical problem. Internal bleeding can cause severe abdominal pain. Internal bleeding is a life-threatening injury, and the victim needs to be treated in a hospital immediately after the accident. Medical professionals can diagnose and treat the problem.
Numb Hands and Arms
Numbness in the hands and arms can be caused by a whiplash injury. The numbness sensation could also be caused by a neck or spinal cord injury. Almost 20 percent of car accident victims develop numbness symptoms after a car accident, and the numbness may linger for several months.
Impaired Thinking and Memory Loss
A concussion can cause impaired thinking and memory loss. The condition can also cause depression, vision and hearing loss. Car accidents are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Many victims develop post-traumatic stress disorder after an accident. PTSD can cause recurring disturbing memories, nightmares, insomnia, and other emotional symptoms. Treatment for PTSD may involve medication or therapy.
If you have any of these symptoms in the days or weeks after the accident, you may decide to visit an experienced physician who can diagnose your injuries. Attorneys fight hard for fair compensation, and it is advised to consult with an experienced team such as the personal injury lawyer Milwaukee, WI locals trust.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Hickey & Turim LLP for their insight into personal injury practice.