Being in a car accident is a jarring and traumatic experience. After the crash, your adrenaline reacts and forces your body into survival mode. At the same time, you might be worrying about other passengers, the other car, and oncoming traffic.
With everything going on, you may not even realize your injuries until much later. Delayed shock symptoms after an accident are common, and they can cause issues when you file claims to cover your medical costs.
The Angell Law Firm has many years of experience dealing with the legality of car accidents. Below, an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer will cover what delayed injuries are, what shock symptoms you should watch out for, and how you can seek compensation by finding a car accident attorney.
What Does It Mean to Have Delayed Symptoms?
Our brains attempt to protect us from dangerous events in many ways, including adrenaline surges and post-traumatic stress reactions. These mechanisms allow your body to feel like it can continue functioning until you are somewhere safe and secure where the symptoms can stream through your nervous system.
Fight-or-flight reactions typically reside after a few hours once you are calm, and your injuries should surface within a day or two. The adrenaline pumping through your body can increase your heart rate, induce sweating, cause rapid breathing, and numb pain, causing a severe internal injury to only feel like a minor stomach ache.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can surface symptoms much further down the line, including mental trauma that may not arise for many days or longer. Mental trauma and severe injuries often lead to a long-term, expensive recovery, which means you will likely need support to pay for this treatment.
Watch Out for These Delayed Shock Symptoms After a Car Accident
After a car accident, you should take a moment to assess your body immediately. Watch out for the following symptoms of shock:
- Increased heart rate
- Weak pulse
- Fast or shallow breathing
- Pale and cold skin
- Dilated pupils
- Blue-colored lips or nails
- Upset stomach
- Dizziness and fainting
If you notice these delayed shock symptoms after an accident, you may have an underlying injury that you can’t feel yet because of your adrenaline. You must immediately seek medical attention to prevent additional bodily damage and verify any of your injuries.
Especially with any head injuries, like concussions, if you don’t seek treatment within the first few hours, your condition may rapidly worsen, even causing permanent brain damage. A minor headache can alter your life if you ignore it.
Common Delayed Shock Injuries That You May Not Feel Right Away
Familiar sensations may not alarm you immediately, though they may signal more critical conditions. Some common types of shock include:
- Psychological: Dealing with a traumatic event may cause mental trauma that lasts much longer than a day or two. If you feel anxiety, nervousness, or increased breathing, you might develop PTSD from the accident.
- Hypovolemic: When your blood pressure drops too far, your body can go into shock. If you lose too much blood or fluid, you may first experience confusion, cold skin, weakness, and increased breathing that can turn into organ failure if you do not treat it.
- Spinal: Spine damage is one of the most common car accident injuries, and you may not detect it until much later. A sore back might turn out to be a fracture.
- Neurogenic: Damage to your head or neck can injure your nervous system and inhibit it from correctly controlling your blood circulation. This delayed trauma response can even create additional shock symptoms.
- Septic: Septic shock occurs when your body shuts down from an untreated infection. You may leave the accident with a small cut, though this open wound can develop into a fatal injury.
- Cardiogenic: Heart damage can prevent the rest of your body from receiving an adequate amount of blood. This shock typically occurs after a heart attack and can take your life.
After a car accident, the most important thing to remember is that fight-or-flight feelings frequently mask fatal injuries.
Can I Seek Compensation for Delayed Injuries?
When you realize you may be injured, you must immediately seek medical attention. If you initially said you were OK after the accident, it’s still not too late to receive compensation for your medical bills, emotional trauma, and loss of income.
Georgia law recognizes that personal injury symptoms may not arise until after the accident. You should seek the help of a car accident attorney to represent your case. An experienced lawyer can help you seek maximum compensation for your injuries and emotional anguish.
How to Strengthen Your Case
After an accident, the way you proceed can determine everything, including your physical and financial well-being. If you’re in an accident, follow the steps below:
- Find help: Seek medical attention immediately, even if you don’t feel too bad.
- Call the police: Contact the police so that they can write up a report of the accident.
- Only discuss confirmed conditions: Do not tell police officers or insurance companies whether or not you feel injured. Only answer injury questions after receiving medical diagnoses. If anyone asks how you feel before you are medically evaluated, tell them that you are unsure.
- Find legal help: Hire an attorney to represent your case so you can receive compensation.
The Angell Law Firm’s Car Accident Lawyers Want to Help You Recover
Car accidents are traumatic and can cause life-long physical, mental, and financial consequences. Delayed shock symptoms after an accident can cover up severe injuries that might harm you in the future. If you or a loved one was in an accident and experienced delayed injuries, you should seek legal advice from a licensed car accident attorney.
The Angell Law Firm understands how difficult it can be to recover from a motor vehicle crash, and we want to help ease the process. Call an experienced car accident lawyer in Atlanta today at (770) 217-4954 for a free consultation to discuss how we can help you receive compensation for your accident.
Bryce is considered a highly esteemed trial lawyer and a passionate client advocate amongst his peers in the Atlanta legal community. Never afraid to go the extra mile for his clients, Bryce Angell works tirelessly to ensure that each client’s personal injury case gets the attention that it deserves.