Car accidents are almost always more destructive and violent than victims may realize in the moment. They may discover that they have injuries they do not notice until they feel pain hours or even days later. Unfortunately, even though an injury may not cause pain, it may still cause serious harm. Some initially undetectable internal injuries can result in long-term complications or even fatalities.
If you or someone you love experiences a car accident, it is always important to seek medical treatment as soon as you can. Even if you do not feel any indications of an injury, you may be in more danger than you realize. A medical professional can examine you for injuries you may not feel yet and may help you avoid serious harm and or needless suffering.
Delayed abdominal pain
All delayed pain injuries pose some danger, but delayed abdominal pain may indicate a deadly condition like organ damage or internal bleeding. If you feel pain in your abdomen after a car accident, see a doctor immediately. You may have very short window of time to avoid serious harm or death — possibly only minutes or hours.
Organ damage may not cause pain initially, but becomes excruciating and deadly if and when it transitions to organ failure. Once an organ fails, victims have a much lower chance of survival, and may suffer ongoing effects of the failure if they do survive.
Internal bleeding poses two distinct concerns. Victims can be harmed by blood loss as well as infection at the site of the bleed. Whether internal or external, severe blood loss (exsanguination) can kill a victim in a matter of minutes. Even a relatively small internal injury may develop an infection that spreads through the blood stream to other organs and systems very quickly. Like organ failure, this is a particularly painful death.
Head, neck and back injuries
Other delayed-pain injuries are not usually fatal, but may still cause suffering. If a victim receives a blow to the head, a mild brain injury can result with no pain or discomfort for days or even weeks. However, the injury may later manifest symptoms like prolonged headaches and may significantly affect the victim's mental and emotional states.
Similarly, an injury to the musculature in the neck and back may not cause pain immediately, only to very suddenly immobilize the patient once the symptoms begin. If a victim suffers damage to his or her spinal column, nerves may get pinched or severed, causing numbness, tingling or pain in a specific area, such as the victim's arms and legs.
If you do suffer delayed-pain injuries, don't wait to build a comprehensive legal claim to compensate you for your injuries and the costs of treating them. An experienced attorney can help you examine the causes of your accident and determine a wise path forward that seeks fair terms in a settlement and keeps your rights protected.