The collision happened in a parking lot. An impatient driver of another car crashed into your car; a side-impact one that led your head to strike the window. The damage to your vehicle is repairable, and you suspect that your resulting slight headache will go away soon.
However, you may have sustained a serious injury and do not even know it. The symptoms may seem mild now, but the effects of the injury may strike hours, days or even weeks after the initial incident. Hidden and delayed injury symptoms potentially may lead to serious harm.
Headaches and numbness
A serious injury may originate from a seemingly harmless one. There have been cases where drivers strike their heads, only to die in their sleep the next morning due to bleeding on the brain.
Here are some delayed injury symptoms that could lead to serious health consequences:
- Headaches: At first, a slight headache may not be alarming until it worsens. Dizziness, fatigue and losing consciousness are signs of a concussion and traumatic brain injury.
- Abdominal pain: Along with bruising to the torso, this symptom is a potential sign of internal bleeding and organ damage. This would include the spleen, liver, lungs and heart.
- Back pain: When a person’s spine receives trauma, a herniated disc may be the result. The discs may rupture or slip, leading to the vertebrae rubbing against each other.
- Neck pain: This may be a sign of whiplash when your body is abruptly thrust forward and backward, causing considerable strain on the neck. Swelling and pain in the neck and shoulders are not uncommon. Injuries to the neck muscles and tendons also may occur.
- Knee pain: This may surface after your knees strike the dashboard. Then pain may worsen, representing signs of ligament damage or a torn meniscus.
- Shoulder pain: While your seat belt protected you from some injuries, it may have caused harm to the shoulder due to the jolt from the crash. This may be the sign of a torn rotator cuff.
- Numbness: Tingling arms and legs may mean nerve damage.
You may have walked away from the crash, however, you may have acquired an injury that does not surface until hours later.
Seek prompt medical attention
Please do not ignore the twinge in your side, the increasingly painful headache or worsening neck pain after a car crash. You may have a much more serious injury than you thought. Get prompt medical attention, setting yourself on the road to recovery.