Delayed pain after a car accident can mask the symptoms of a severe injury. Pain can take 24 to 48 hours, sometimes longer, to show up.
As many as 50 million people sustain non-fatal injuries in car accidents each year in the U.S. Visible injuries, such as broken bones, bruises, and scrapes, are easy to diagnose and treat. However, many auto accident victims suffer from injuries that have delayed symptoms. For this reason, you need to seek immediate medical attention after a car accident, even if you think you feel fine.
If you or your loved one have been involved in a car crash and have suffered delayed pain symptoms, you likely have questions concerning your legal rights. Contact Apicella & Schlesinger Attorneys at Law. We are passionate about seeking all available compensation to help people deal with medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages.
What Causes Delayed Pain?
If you have experienced a car accident, you understand how scared and shocked you feel during and after the incident. Adrenaline kicks in at the time of the collision, which numbs your body to the physical pain of an injury. However, after the initial shock wears off, your body may still be in overdrive as it tries to protect and heal itself.
Some of the most common reasons for delayed pain after a car accident includes:
Shock – Shock is an amazing response to physical and psychological trauma. The physical response causes a sudden drop in blood pressure. The blood vessels in your hands and feet constrict to reallocate blood flow to your vital organs. Psychologically, your brain creates a mental disconnect from the situation, almost as if you’re watching the situation unfold rather than being present.
Because of the physical response, blood flow is redirected to vital organs and may cause you to lose sensation in areas like your hands, feet, and other non-vital areas. However, you may have suffered injuries in those areas. Loss of sensation combined with a mental disconnect can cause a delayed sense of pain or injury. The “shock” may last for several hours, thus making you unaware of your injuries.
Adrenaline – In addition to being in a state of shock, your body produces a hormone called adrenaline. Often referred to as the “flight or fight” response, adrenaline puts your body into a self-preservation mode. This means your body will physically shut down any systems that aren’t working to protect you. For instance, tissue repair is temporarily disabled when adrenaline pumps through your veins. This masks injury and pain by limiting pain signals to the brain.
With adrenaline flowing from your organs to your muscles, you may feel stronger and less aware of any injuries you’ve suffered. Like shock, this response is temporary and will decrease after several hours.
Inflammation – Inflammation is the third most common cause of delayed pain. Shock and adrenaline have already essentially fooled your brain into thinking you’re not injured. Once those effects wear off, your body responds further by creating inflammation or swelling in the injured area. By decreasing blood flow, inflammation helps to protect and strengthen the area from further harm.
What Should You Do if You Develop Delayed Pain?
Visit a doctor immediately if you develop pain hours or days after your auto accident. Seeking medical attention is the only way to locate, diagnose, and treat delayed pain correctly. Without medical care, your injury will likely get worse. You may incur medical bills, and hesitating to get medical attention may jeopardize your injury claim.
Auto Accident Injury Lawyers NY
Contact Apicella & Schlesinger Attorneys at Law. For over 45 years, we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. Our knowledge and experience cover a comprehensive spectrum of accident types and injuries. We are passionate about seeking all available compensation to help people deal with medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages.