Most people think that if they feel fine after a car accident, they were lucky and escaped without any injuries. While this is true in many cases, there are also some cases in which serious injuries do not show any symptoms for hours, days or even weeks after the car crash.
Injuries that do not show up immediately after a car accident are sometimes referred to as "delayed onset" injuries because symptoms show up with a delay. A common type of delayed-onset injury is the traumatic brain injury. It is important to know the typical symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, so you can spot it if it ever happens to you or someone you know.
Common symptoms of delayed-onset injuries
It is common for drivers to report having a headache after they get into a motor vehicle accident. Since headaches occur in daily life without any other risk factors, many drivers tend to simply ignore this symptom. However, in car crashes, a headache may be a simple indicator of a much more serious injury, such as a TBI. Other typical symptoms that drivers may dismiss include dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, blurry vision, nausea, vomiting and disorientation. Anyone experiencing one or more of these symptoms after a motor vehicle accident should seek medical help promptly.
Delays in symptom onset
Concussions are common in car crashes, and symptoms of a concussion can show up days or weeks after the initial accident. Because delayed-onset injuries do not show their symptoms immediately after the crash, it is crucial for people in car accidents to document everything, including medical treatment following the accident. If you do not seek out any medical care, insurance companies may assume that you are not injured and attempt to make a quick settlement. This could jeopardize your chances for seeking adequate compensation if your injury shows up later and you incur extensive medical bills and lost wages due to time off work.
The important thing to keep in mind if you are in a car crash is that not all injury symptoms show up immediately. Be vigilant about any unusual symptoms you experience in the hours, days and weeks following the accident, and be sure to get prompt medical attention if you suspect that you have any of the signs of a traumatic brain injury.