Not all injuries show symptoms immediately after a car accident. Some take hours – or even days – to show up. It is important to know what signs to look for. Here are five important warning signs to look out for after a car accident:
Dizziness or Nausea
Dizziness can be a symptom of many serious medical conditions. It could indicate brain damage or internal bleeding. These conditions can be fatal if they are left untreated. Nausea may be caused by the dizziness or be a symptom of a different medical condition altogether. In either event, be sure to see a qualified medical professional if you experience dizziness or nausea after a car accident.
Confusion and Disorientation
Confusion and disorientation can also be a sign of concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI). Ask the people around you to tell you about any changes they notice. If you start speaking incoherently or have difficulty forming a thought, or any other cognitive changes, it is important to see a doctor right away.
Any Unexplained Bleeding
There are many different parts of the body that might bleed after a car accident. Bleeding in the head, eyes, ears, mouth, or nose is concerning, as it could indicate bleeding in the brain. Blood in your urine or stool is also concerning because this could indicate internal bleeding that you cannot even see. Be sure to see a doctor if you experience any unexplained bleeding. Severe bleeding can cause dizziness, so be especially cautious if you have any bleeding accompanied by dizziness.
Numbness or Tingling
Internal bleeding can also lead to numbness or tingling. When the body does not have enough blood, it starts diverting blood flow away from the extremities to reserve it for the vital organs. This can cause tingling in the arms and legs. Numbness and tingling could also be a sign of nerve damage. Internal bleeding and nerve damage are both serious conditions. The sooner you seek medical treatment, the better your prognosis is likely to be.
Stiffness or Pain in the Neck
Whiplash is a common outcome of car accidents – especially if you have been struck from behind. But just because it is common does not mean you can ignore it. Stiffness in the neck can also be a sign of a more serious condition, like broken vertebrae or spinal cord damage. Always get a doctor’s opinion about any symptoms you experience in the vital neck region.
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