What to Expect Physically After a Car Accident

Car accidents are capable of breaking bones, crushing appendages, and severing limbs. But while a catastrophic injury is immediately obvious to the victim, some very common types of car accident injuries have vague symptoms that often go unnoticed or ignored. It’s our hope that, by explaining the warning signs of some invisible car accident injuries, we will encourage crash victims to seek immediate medical care. Once you’ve made an appointment with your doctor, you should also set up a free consultation with our experienced Oklahoma City car accident attorneys. Depending on the circumstances of the crash or collision, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills and other losses.

Common Symptoms of Delayed Injuries After a Crash or Collision

Our auto accident attorneys have worked on many cases where the crash victim was not aware of their injuries immediately after the collision. It may take several hours or even several days for you to notice anything unusual, which is one of the reasons why it is so important not to accept an early settlement offer until your doctor has determined the true extent of your injuries (and, by extension, your likely medical costs). If you prematurely tell the insurance company that you “feel fine,” only to later retract your statement and reverse your position, it will be much more difficult for you to prove that you were seriously injured by the accident. The safest path is to avoid making any definitive statements about your physical condition until you have been evaluated by a physician.

Whiplash and Soft Tissue Injuries

Whiplash, a soft tissue injury of the neck, is an extremely common injury which is notorious for producing delayed symptoms. Whiplash, which is typically seen in rear-end collisions, occurs when the neck rocks violently back and forth, causing muscles and ligaments to stretch or tear completely. A stretched or torn muscle is called a strain, while a stretched or torn ligament is called a sprain. Whiplash is therefore sometimes described as a cervical sprain or cervical strain, where the term “cervical” refers to the neck (as in the cervical spine).

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Whiplash, while painful, is invisible to the naked eye, which makes it very important to be able to recognize its symptoms. These symptoms can include:

  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Tinnitus
  • Vision problems

For more detailed information about neck injuries, you may be interested in our articles on how to tell if you’re suffering from whiplash and the long-term effects of untreated whiplash injuries.

Concussions and Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

It is very common for head injuries, such as concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBI), to have delayed effects following an accident. A concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury which occurs when the brain strikes against the inside of the skull. This can happen when a person’s head is violently shaken, or when the head is directly impacted by an external object. The impact of the brain striking the inner wall of the skull can cause bruising, swelling, nerve damage, and damage to blood vessels.

Unless the victim’s head was externally bruised or cut by the impact, a concussion or TBI remains invisible, its physical damage hidden inside the skull. The earlier a victim receives medical care, the better – but in order to know you need care, you must be able to recognize the delayed symptoms of a concussion or head injury. These symptoms can include:

  • Amnesia (memory loss)
  • Changes to your mood and emotional state, such as depression, anxiety, or agitation
  • Difficulty balancing
  • Difficulty focusing on tasks or making decisions
  • Feeling disoriented, “foggy,” or confused
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Sleep problems, such as insomnia or excessive sleeping/tiredness
  • Vision problems after a car accident, such as blurry vision or tunnel vision

You can find more information about getting compensated for traumatic brain injuries in our article on how much a head injury claim is worth. Our Oklahoma City brain injury attorneys have over 75 years of combined experience handling claims involving concussions, contusions (bruising), diffuse axonal injuries (DAI), and other serious brain injuries.

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Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Oklahoma City Car Accident Lawyers

It is very common to feel sore, achy, and stiff after being in an accident. However, it’s important that you don’t write these symptoms off or assume they will disappear on their own. They could be indicators of a more serious injury you aren’t yet aware of.

If you were hit by a car in Oklahoma City or the surrounding area, you should speak to a Oklahoma City personal injury attorney about your options for getting compensated. If your injuries were caused by the other driver’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, the income you lost due to your injuries, and other losses resulting from the accident.

To learn more about getting compensated for your car accident in a free legal consultation, call the law offices of Hasbrook & Hasbrook at (405) 698-3040. We proudly serve the residents of Norman, Moore, Edmond, Tuttle, Shawnee, El Reno, Stillwater, Chickasha, and other communities in the Oklahoma City area. We’re here to answer your questions and help you understand your legal rights as an accident victim.