When you get injured in an accident, the effects of your injuries will not always show up right away. In fact, with many injuries, it could be days or weeks until you begin to experience symptoms. As a result, if you are beginning to experience generalized pain, pain with movement, limited mobility, headaches, or any other symptoms and you were recently involved in a collision, fall, or other accident, you should see a doctor right away.
The following are eight examples of traumatic injuries that often have delayed symptoms.
1. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
While concussions, which are considered “mild” forms of TBI, usually lead to headaches fairly quickly, this is not always the case. Symptoms of concussions, hematomas, diffuse axonal injuries, and other forms of TBI can develop several hours to several days after an accident, including symptoms such as:
- Memory loss
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Sleep disturbances
Whiplash is common among victims of vehicle collisions and other accidents, and it also has delayed symptoms in many cases. Typically, symptoms of whiplash – which involves damage to the soft tissue in the neck and upper spine – appear within a week, and in most cases, within a few days. This includes the hallmark symptoms of pain, stiffness, and limited mobility in the neck and shoulders.
3. Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal fractures, herniated discs, and other spinal cord injuries will often have delayed symptoms as well. This is particularly common for injuries that worsen over time. In most cases, pain and limited mobility are the first signs of a potentially serious back injury, and they can begin to appear anywhere from days to weeks after an accident.
4. Internal Injuries Caused by “Seat Belt Syndrome”
For car accident victims, abdominal pain, tenderness, difficulty with bowel and bladder movements, and certain other symptoms that appear up to two weeks after the accident could be signs of internal injuries caused by “seat belt syndrome.” While seat belts save lives, they can also cause serious injuries – particularly in high-speed crashes – and the symptoms of these injuries may only begin to become apparent after a period of time.
5. Internal Bleeding and Blood Clots
Internal bleeding can result from ruptures or tears to the blood vessels, capillaries, veins, arteries, and internal organs. In many cases, the symptoms of internal bleeding – including pain, bruises, dizziness, and fainting – can take several days to develop. Once they develop, emergency medical treatment will often be necessary.
6. Internal Organ Damage
In addition to internal bleeding and blood clots, other forms of internal organ damage can have delayed symptoms as well. These symptoms will vary depending on the organ that is damaged, and the length of the delay will similarly vary with the specific injury involved.
7. Bone Fractures
While compound fractures that pierce the skin will be obvious right away, other types of bone fractures can have delayed symptoms. Although these fractures can be classified as “less serious” when compared to compound fractures in some cases, they can still be serious injuries that require prompt medical treatment and perhaps even surgery. Pain, tenderness, bruising, and loss of muscle strength are common symptoms that can often appear up to several days after suffering a bone fracture in a crash, fall, or other accident.
8. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychological injury that many victims experience in the aftermath of serious accidents. People can experience PTSD in various different ways, and it can take weeks or even months for a person to begin to experience or exhibit symptoms. For accident victims, common signs of PTSD include:
- Uncontrollable thoughts or flashbacks
- Symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Being easily startled or awakened from sleep
- Emotional numbness or loss of interest
- Feeling hostile, agitated, or irritable
This list is not exhaustive, and you should not wait until you experience symptoms to seek medical attention. After any type of accident, seeking medical attention promptly can be crucial to protecting your long-term health and your legal rights. Importantly, if you were injured at work in New Jersey, you may need to see a “company doctor” in order to preserve your claim for benefits.
Contact Our Personal Injury and Workers’ Comp Lawyers to Learn More
At Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo, we take personal injury personally.
If you have been seriously injured in an accident, the personal injury attorneys at Petro Cohen can help and have been recognized locally and statewide for their legal excellence in this dynamic practice area.
The lawyers at our firm will handle your personal injury needs with the dedication, respect, and focus you should expect from your legal representation. Our trained attorneys and staff take the time to carefully listen to your individual story, working hard to obtain settlements for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering, and to help bring you closure. We have handled thousands of personal injury cases with successful outcomes for our clients.
Susan Petro, who heads the Personal Injury Department and is also the Managing Partner of Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo, along with Rich Gaeckle and Mike Veneziani, will handle your personal injury case, fighting for full and fair compensation. Together, the Personal Injury team has successfully handled thousands of personal injury cases for clients throughout Southern New Jersey.
Whether your injury resulted from an automobile, truck, motorcycle, or bicycle accident, a slip and fall accident, or a construction site accident, we can assist. We have also successfully handled many claims against public entities, dog bite injuries, maritime personal injury and boating accident cases, pedestrian injuries, premises liability claims, and traumatic brain injuries.
Regardless of the type of serious injury you face, our team of qualified attorneys is there for you. For more information about protecting your legal rights after an accident that resulted in delayed symptoms, contact us to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation. To speak with one of our skilled local personal injury or workers’ comp lawyers in confidence, call us directly or inquire online today.