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Delayed symptoms prolong pain after car accidents

It was a day you will never forget. You may have started out the door with a list of errands or a briefcase full of reports. Maybe you were taking your children to visit their grandparents or you were meeting your spouse for a romantic dinner. What you didn't expect was that someone else would total your car and send you to the hospital with serious injuries.

Even after a doctor examined and treated you, you may have experienced pain. This is not unusual. In fact, after a car accident, many symptoms don't show up right away. You may have been released from the hospital, but the true extent of your injuries may not be known.

Neck and back pain

Nearly everyone who is in an accident experiences some form of whiplash. The sudden movement of your car when the other vehicle strikes it can cause your body to jerk unnaturally, spraining your neck.

You may feel nothing at first, but after a day or two, your body may begin to ache. Some of the most common symptoms of whiplash are:

  • Stiffness or pain in your neck
  • Stiffness or pain in your shoulders
  • Pain in your lower back
  • Numbness in your arms and hands
  • Headaches

Many times, these symptoms will fade after a few days, and some doctors may recommend massage or physical therapy. If the discomfort persists, you may need more aggressive treatment.

Some signs point to serious problems

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents rank number three in causes of traumatic brain injuries. TBIs also contribute to one third of all fatalities that are not disease-related. After falls, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of fatal brain injuries.

While headaches may mean whiplash, they may also indicate a TBI. In addition, your doctor may suspect you have a brain injury if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Impaired movement
  • Hearing or vision changes
  • Sudden personality changes
  • Depression

Traumatic brain injuries can cause debilitating, life-long health issues.

Some scars don't show

It is not unusual for car accident victims to suffer emotional trauma as well as physical pain. You may experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder after an accident. These symptoms may include nightmares, flashbacks and alarming memories of the event.

When the accident is over, the problems may only be beginning. Physical and emotional trauma after an accident can mean hospital stays, powerful medications and therapy or rehabilitation. Any of these may result in time lost at work, time taken from family and time away from the life you enjoy.

You don't deserve to suffer due to someone else's negligence behind the wheel. Fortunately, you have the right to seek legal counsel to determine if you have cause to pursue compensation for your injuries. A Kansas City personal injury attorney will fight to win you potential damages so that you can put your energy into healing and recovery.

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