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Car Accidents Personal Injury

Delayed Injuries After Car Accidents Are More Common Than You Think

Most car accidents happen in the blink of an eye, so you might assume that your injuries would appear just as quickly.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Many car accident-related injuries take days or even weeks to appear. If you’ve already accepted a settlement from the insurance company, you may be out of luck.

Don’t settle for anything less than what you deserve. The car accident attorneys at Langdon & Emison will ensure that all of your injuries are accounted for before entering into negotiations. It’s the only way to get maximum compensation. 

If you were injured in a car accident, call us today to learn how we’ll fight for you.

 

Brain Injuries

The brain is a strange organ – it’s extremely powerful, commanding all of the functions that make us human, but is also extremely fragile. In circumstances of violence or trauma, such as in a car accident, the so-called “command center” can suffer devastating damage, potentially affecting every aspect of a victim’s life.

Some brain injuries are considered primary, meaning the damage is immediate and easily recognizable. In these cases, symptoms appear in a matter of minutes. Others, however, may go unnoticed for days, weeks, or even months after the accident. These are known as secondary injuries, the delayed response of which is due to several reactive processes that occur inside the brain after the initial trauma. Two of the most common delayed brain injuries are concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

 

Concussion

In many cases, concussion symptoms don’t appear immediately. Instead, symptoms will appear hours after the accident, sometimes up to 48 hours after the initial injury. When symptoms do appear, they usually include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • A feeling of “fogginess” and difficulty remembering things
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty with balancing or walking

 

You should call a doctor immediately or visit the nearest emergency room if you or a loved one were in a car accident and are showing these symptoms. Concussion severity varies greatly, and although you may not think you were seriously injured, your symptoms may worsen quickly, potentially leaving you with permanent brain damage.

 

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

TBI is caused by a violent jolt or blow to the head. In a car accident, a person’s head can be thrown forward into the dashboard, sideways into the window, or backward into the seat, exerting more force upon the skull than it can handle.

Unfortunately, a TBI can easily go unnoticed at the scene of a car accident, even in the hours and days afterward. TBIs often mimic symptoms of excessive adrenaline and the fight-or-flight response, both of which are common in victims of car accidents.

Different degrees of TBI (mild or serious) present different symptoms.

Delayed symptoms of mild TBI often include:

  • Changes in sense of smell and/or taste
  • Depression
  • Dizziness/loss of balance
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Memory problems and/or memory loss
  • Mood changes
  • Poor attention/concentration
  • Sensitivity to light, even when it’s not particularly bright

 

Delayed symptoms of moderate to severe TBI include:

  • Amnesia
  • Coma
  • Emotional problems
  • Epilepsy or seizures
  • Inability to speak or think clearly
  • Numbness in limbs
  • Paralysis
  • Spinal fluid leaking from ears or nose

If you or a loved one were in a car accident within the last few months and are experiencing any of the above symptoms, call a doctor or visit the emergency room immediately. These are serious symptoms of TBI that can present months after the accident. If left untreated, it can cause long-term damage or even death.

 

Abdominal Injuries

Seat belts are one of the greatest life-saving inventions in modern history, but they can also cause severe injuries. In a car crash, the enormous amount of force exerted upon the human body causes the person to strain against the seat belt, putting pressure on their abdomen. 

This phenomenon is known as “Seat Belt Syndrome” and it can cause a host of injuries that may take hours, if not days, to show symptoms.

Two of the most common delayed abdominal injuries after a car accident include internal bleeding and organ damage. Seat Belt Syndrome can also cause bowel obstructions and inflammation as well as damage to the liver, kidney, pancreas, and spleen.

 

Internal Bleeding

Seat Belt Syndrome presents the very real, very frightening danger of internal bleeding. A foreign object, such as a piece of metal, or the seat belt itself can cause an abdominal organ such as the liver or kidney to rupture, filling the abdominal cavity with the blood that spills out of the organ.

Internal bleeding itself is extremely dangerous, as the body can undergo fatal shock due to the quantities of blood lost. Unfortunately, symptoms of severe blood loss – weakness on one side of the body, low blood pressure, numbness, and vomiting – can take hours to appear. Symptoms of shock due to heavy blood loss include rapid heart rate, sweaty skin, and overall weakness.

Internal hemorrhages can also cause systemic infections, which can be fatal.

 

Traumatic Appendicitis

Most people are familiar with appendicitis caused by infections, parasites, blocked stool, and swollen lymph nodes. But inflammation of the appendix can also result from car accidents. 

Also known as seat belt compression appendicitis, traumatic appendicitis is caused by blunt force trauma, or the impact of the seat belt against the abdomen. 

If a person’s seat belt is positioned above the appendix (on the lower right side of the abdomen) and they’re involved in an accident, the force of the accident may cause their appendix to rupture, which can be extremely painful.

 

Help for Car Accident Victims

Car accidents can cause a host of injuries, some of which are easily recognizable and present symptoms immediately. However, others present symptoms later, sometimes months after the accident. 

If you were in a car crash, don’t wait – take your health into your own hands and visit a doctor. It’s the best way to avoid the consequences of delayed injuries after a car accident. 

Whatever your injury, a car accident lawyer at Langdon & Emison will work to establish the other party’s liability and get you the compensation you need to pay your medical bills, make up for lost income, and more. Call today for more information.