Many of us manage to go about our daily commute without having to experience a car crash. A small bump here and there, hopefully, while you’re not in the car, is all that most people deal with.
That said, it’s impossible to predict or prevent the behavior of other drivers on the road. We are at risk of experiencing a car accident, and we should be prepared for that event should it ever happen.
The most important thing to keep in mind is your physical health and wellbeing after the crash. We’re going to talk about what to expect physically after a car accident, giving you some insight into what to look for and how to respond.
What to expect physically after a car accident
Car accidents fall all across the board in terms of damage to our bodies. Your body’s response to the crash depends on how you’re sitting, where you’re seated, how fast you’re going, how fast the other driver is going, the quality of your vehicles, and the angle at which you crash.
Those factors combine to create a near-limitless number of possible effects upon your body. That said, there are a number of common injuries that do occur, making it a little easier for you to look for signs of injury.
We’ll cover a few of those common injuries first.
Back, Neck, and Shoulder Pain
Many of the injuries that come from car accidents have to do with the quality of our spine. Our bodies are pretty adaptable to physical injury, but our spines are susceptible to be shifted, damaged, and cause lasting pain.
Another crucial point is that the spine serves as a central component of the rest of your bodily health. So, an injury to an area on the spine could lead to difficulty in your appendages.
If you were hit forcefully, be on the lookout for signs of whiplash. Typically, whiplash leads to distinct pain in the neck or shoulders.
The term “whiplash” isn’t used in legal or medical cases, but it’s used colloquially as a term to describe any of the injuries that occur from the fast jolting motion that the tissue of our upper bodies undergoes in an accident.
Many times, signs of whiplash don’t show up immediately. If you were jolted in a back-and-forth motion during the accident, be aware of how your neck and back feel in the days following.
Headaches are difficult to diagnose, especially in car accident cases.
You may experience an immediate headache during and after the crash, strictly because of the distinct and immediate stress that the situation causes. The stress of calling insurance companies, dealing with other drivers, assessing damage, wondering if you’re alright, and thinking about how to overcome the situation can all have a very real mental effect.
On the other hand, you could have a headache from the physical crash. Even if your head didn’t hit anything in the process of the crash, the headache could still be a result of the accident.
If you did hit your head during the crash, you should seek medical attention as soon as you’re able. You could have incurred a brain injury or a concussion, and those are two things that should be treated immediately.
Headaches can also be the sign of whiplash symptoms, spinal difficulty, blood clots, or some other damage to your upper body.
By “internal,” we mean pain that is perceived to exist among your internal organs.
You could feel this pain right away, and it’s likely that you’ll feel that you need to get to a doctor urgently. Internal damage that comes up immediately is extremely painful and needs to be treated and examined by a doctor.
At the same time, not all internal damage is perceivable right away. You may notice aches, pains, or unusual sensations in the days following the accident. If you notice any of these signs, you should take them seriously.
Internal damage often has the potential to be fatal, but can be treated in many cases.
Tingling, Pain, Lack of Sensation
If you notice a difference in your sensation, this is probably a result of an adjustment made to your spine during the crash.
Nerves run from your appendages to your spine and up to your brain. Interference in this process occurs when you have a slipped disc or adjusted spinal column and that connection pressed down upon or cut off.
Sometimes that means you’ll feel little to nothing, numbness, tingling, or extreme pain. These symptoms can come forward over time, too, so don’t be surprised if it takes a few days or weeks for anything to arise.
Unfortunately, numbness and tingling often mean that you’ll need to see a doctor as well as a chiropractor regularly. It’s important that you do this, though, because spinal issues can get worse over time, and dealing with them promptly is crucial.
Finally, you may expect to suffer some emotional trauma. Depending on who you are and the nature of the accident, this trauma will vary. That said, any amount of emotional pain and suffering deserves compensation if you aren’t at fault for the accident.
You may notice that you have flashbacks of the accident, your mood is off in the days and weeks following the crash, or you may have deepened emotional suffering as a result of the medical injuries you suffer during the crash.
Finally, your brain and head injuries could cause distinct, if only brief, changes to your mood and personality. These are serious mental injuries and should be noted in your case as well as addressed by your doctor.
These are all natural responses to such an intense experience. Seeing a counselor and addressing these difficulties is extremely important if you hope to carry on and exist as you did before the crash.
Need to learn more?
Whether it’s knowing what to expect physically after a car accident or how to proceed with legal action, car accidents require a lot of action. We’re here to help.
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