How Long After A Car Accident In Washington D.C. Can Injuries Appear?

How Long After A Car Accident Can Injuries Appear?

Car accidents are always a scary experience, whether you suffer serious injuries or not. However, one thing to understand is that even if you don’t think you’ve been severely injured, you may not actually be able to make this determination right away. In the height of a stressful situation, your body produces adrenaline which can mask pain, potentially causing delayed onset of injury symptoms.

Other than adrenaline, there are other reasons symptoms may have a delayed onset. Certain types of medical conditions don’t present immediate symptoms. Understanding such delays is crucial when filing personal injury claims.

Common Types of Delayed Injuries After a Car Accident

Hours or even days following an accident could be when the full extent of injuries become clearly discernible – ranging from minor sprains and bruising to serious conditions like internal hemorrhaging or traumatic brain injuries. Some of the most common injuries that have a delayed onset after a car accident include the following:

Whiplash: The impact from a collision is notorious for causing whiplash to the soft tissues in the neck and upper spine. Interestingly, this isn’t an injury that always shows up immediately. Injured parties may start noticing symptoms like pain or stiffness in the neck or back area anywhere between 24 hours to several days after an accident.

Concussions: Concussions can happen when you receive a blow to the head or are violently shaken, which is common during car accidents.  While your head may hurt right after the accident, there are certain symptoms that you might not notice right away. This could include confusion, dizziness, mood changes, sensitivity to light or sound, and memory problems. It can take hours, days, or even weeks for these symptoms to fully manifest.

Soft Tissue Injuries: These involve damage due to strain on muscles, ligaments, or tendons during the collision. Some of these might include sprains, tears, and even severe bruising. Much like whiplash and concussions, these injuries may not cause immediate discomfort or pain due to adrenaline levels after the accident but could become incredibly painful later on.

Internal Bleeding: Injuries sustained from accidents aren’t only external; they can also affect your internal organs. These injuries can put your life at risk without you immediately being aware. Some signs of internal bleeding might include weakness, dizziness, and lethargy. Also look out for bruising and swelling. It is critical to seek immediate medical attention if you start noticing these signs after an accident, even if it’s days later.

Herniated Discs: Back pain after a sudden jolt in an accident often gets dismissed as a minor issue, but that might not always be the case. You could have sustained a herniated disc, which affects your spine. This can lead to pressure on the nerves, causing significant pain. However, you might not feel any symptoms right away, as this process can develop gradually rather than instantaneously.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Beyond the physical damage, an auto accident can also leave psychological scars. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that not everyone thinks about, yet it’s one of the most insidious. Some people experience flashbacks, anxiety, or depression long after any apparent danger has passed. These symptoms could take days or even months to appear in some cases.

Ultimately, understanding that injuries after an accident can present themselves significantly after the accident is key to protecting your health and rights. Never underestimate or ignore any changes in your physical or psychological well-being following a collision.

Contact Lightfoot Law, PLLC After Your Car Accident Today

Always seek professional medical advice immediately following an accident and during recovery for proper care and documentation. For help, contact a Washington D.C. car accident attorney from Lightfoot Law, PLLC, to schedule a free consultation.