You escaped a car crash with no serious injuries – or, at least, it seems like you did. Maybe you have some cuts and bruises and a few mild aches and pains. However, you just want to get the settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance to pay for your car repairs and you can move on.
However, it’s important not to be in a hurry to accept a settlement until you know the full extent of your injuries – both physical and emotional.
Common delayed symptoms
If you’re fortunate, you didn’t suffer any serious injuries. Yet it can take days or even longer for symptoms to develop that could be a sign of a serious or long-term injury. These include:
- Headaches: These could be a sign of a concussion, blood clot or other head (or even neck) injury.
- Stiffness in the neck and/or shoulder: Stiffness or pain in these areas are signs of whiplash. Contrary to popular belief, whiplash isn’t always apparent immediately.
- Abdominal swelling, pain or bruising: These could be caused by the pressure of the seat belt or airbag during the crash. However, they can be signs of dangerous internal bleeding.
- Back pain: This could be caused by muscle, nerve or ligament injury or even an injury to the vertebrae.
- Numbness: This could be a sign of whiplash or more serious damage to the spine or neck.
- Cognitive or sensory issues: Changes in hearing, vision, memory or ability to think could be a sign of a concussion or other traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- PTSD and similar disorders: PTSD and other types of anxiety disorders aren’t uncommon in people who have been in car crashes – particularly if they feared for their lives or if someone else was badly injured or killed.
After a crash, it’s easy to focus on the details of everything you need to do to get your life back in order. You may not pay attention to what your body and mind are telling you until later. That’s one reason why it’s important to see a doctor and perhaps check in with your mental health professional, if you have one, before you determine what kind of compensation you need after a crash.