Right after a car accident, you may feel like you weren’t hurt—or weren’t hurt badly. But in the days to come, you may feel pain, soreness, dizziness, stiffness, headaches and other symptoms. Don’t try to brush off these complaints—they could be a sign of a serious injury.
The suddenness and excitement of a car accident sends a rush of adrenaline and endorphins into your system. This can give you a boost in energy and may also mask pain that you would otherwise feel. When these effects wear off, you may begin to notice aches, pains and other symptoms that weren’t apparent at the accident scene. It is important to take these symptoms seriously and see a doctor, both to speed your own healing and to help you make a strong insurance claim.
What are some common symptoms and injuries after a car accident?
A car accident can cause many types of injuries. Some, like broken bones, may be obvious right away or easy to identify through x-rays and tests. But “soft tissue” injuries—basically anything that doesn’t involve bones—are harder to diagnose. Symptoms may not begin to develop until after you’ve gone home. Signs that you have a soft tissue injury include:
- Pain, especially in your head, neck and back. Neck pain is a common symptom of whiplash. Pain can also indicate a spinal cord injury or a sprain or strain to your back muscles. Headaches may be a sign of whiplash or a brain injury.
- Dizziness usually means you have injured your neck or head. Dizziness can signal whiplash, a concussion or brain injury, or an inner ear or spinal cord injury.
- Swelling is a result of inflammation caused by the injury. Swelling is common with muscle injuries and broken bones.
- Soreness, stiffness and reduced mobility. Not surprisingly, the injuries you suffer in a car accident can leave you feeling sore and stiff. The length of time these symptoms will continue will depend on the type of injury you have and its severity.
- Fuzzy thinking, nausea and difficulty concentrating. These are classic symptoms of a concussion.
When should I see a doctor?
Always see a doctor as soon as you can after any car accident. If you were treated in the emergency room, follow their instructions for follow-up. There are two reasons for this. First, when you start treatment soon after your injury, you will often have a faster recovery with less pain. Second, seeing a doctor right away helps you make a strong insurance claim. When you delay, the insurance company may take this as a sign that your injuries weren’t really that bad. Insurance companies like to use this as an excuse to deny your claim or pay you only a small amount.
What else can I do to help myself after an accident?
The best thing you can do is to take your injuries seriously. This means:
- Rest as much as you can. It’s often best to take some time off work while you recover.
- Use ice to combat swelling and inflammation in the first 48 hours after your accident.
- Eat a good diet and drink plenty of water. This will give your body the fuel it needs to heal.
- Avoid strenuous exercise like running, lifting weights, or even yoga. Walking is good for you, but be careful if you are dizzy and at risk of losing your balance.
- Don’t do any heavy lifting, including picking up children. Let someone else do it for you.
The other important thing you can do is to make an appointment with car accident attorneys near Atlanta. A car accident lawyer can send you to doctors who know how to diagnose car accident injuries and who can tell you what it will take to recover. An accident lawyer can take the hassle of dealing with the insurance companies off your plate. A lawyer will build a case for you and work hard to recover the cost of your medical bills, car repairs, lost time from work and more.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Our lawyers have a long track record of helping injured people recover money after a car accident. We never charge a fee unless we can get you money. Let us give you a free consultation and show you how we can help—with no obligation. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.