Directly after a car accident, the body automatically responds with a series of physiological reactions. The body produces adrenaline and endorphins, two chemicals that can block pain. However, just because you feel fine immediately after a car accident does not mean you are uninjured. Once the effect of the chemical reaction in your body fades away, painful or life threatening injuries could start to set in. Below are the most common types of injuries that have delayed onset pain. If you feel any pain or discomfort after a collision see a doctor immediately. Do not let your body trick you into thinking you are uninjured.
In some collisions, the patient’s head may be whipped forward and hit the steering wheel or the windshield. After the head is flung forward, it can be forced backward causing the back of the skull to be slammed against the seat. Such force can lead to internal bleeding in the brain, which can cause severe damage. Continuous bleeding can cause blood to clot, resulting in deadly pressure on the soft brain tissue. Signs of a brain injury include:
- Scalp lacerations;
- Visible skull fractures;
- Bleeding from the ears or nose; and
- Loss of consciousness.
Some of the most common injuries are neck sprains and neck strains. In our necks, ligaments are bands of fibrous tissue that connect bones together and help to stabilize joints. When those ligaments are stretched or torn in the neck, the result is a neck sprain, which can cause pain and stiffness. There are also muscles in the neck. When those muscles are stretched unusually far or powerfully contracted, a neck strain results. When the force of an accident causes extreme pressure on neck disc, a “slipped” or herniated disc results. Damage to the neck can result in pain in different parts of the body, like your arms or hands. Common symptoms of neck injuries include:
- Pain in your neck;
- Pain in your shoulders, arms or hands;
- Reduced range of motion in your neck;
- Numbness, weakness and slower reflexes in your arms and hands; and
- Muscle spasms in your neck.
Blunt force trauma caused by severe twisting of the body or forceful contact with the objects can cause fractures of the skull, ribs, or extremity bones. When a skull is fractured, patients can usually see oozing of blood. Symptoms of skull fracture include:
- Swelling and tenderness around the area of impact;
- Facial bruising; and
- Bleeding from the nostrils or ear.
Fractures of the ribs or bones may be even less obvious. In most cases, bone and rib fractures are closed fractures, meaning the skin did not break when the bone fractured. In a car accident, fractured ribs are the result of a direct blow to the chest. A blow that is hard enough may also have caused damage to your lungs. Symptoms of fractured ribs include:
- Mild to severe pain in the injured area;
- Pain when you breathe; and
- Pain around the fracture when someone pushes on your breastbone.
If you have been in a car accident, do not delay medical attention. Some injuries do not set in right away and, if left untreated, can result in severe damage. If you have been injured in a car accident and have questions about compensation, contact an experienced car accident attorney today to discuss your options. Contact a Kansas City, Missouri, auto accident attorney at the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm today for a free consultation.