You thought it was a fender-bender when another driver’s vehicle struck yours in the back. The jolt was more than a tap, but less than a smash while you waited at a stoplight. You exchange information, inspect your vehicle and drive home.
No noticeable damage to the car, and, initially, no noticeable health injuries to yourself. At least, that is what you thought until several hours after you got home. You noticed slight stiffness in your back and minor pain. Then the pain worsened. This is what is referred to as a delayed symptom after an injury. You felt fine after the collision, but now you do not. And, not surprisingly, such injuries may lead to a lifetime of pain and even prove fatal in cases of internal bleeding and traumatic brain injury.
Headaches and abdominal pain
A delayed symptom from an injury may surface at nearly anytime. In your case, it was just a matter of a few hours. However, for some other injury victims, the pain and symptoms may not strike for days, weeks and months after an incident such as a motor vehicle accident as well as a slip and fall injury.
There have been cases in which pedestrians struck by cars wind up walking away seemingly uninjured only to die in their sleep from internal bleeding. Among the delayed symptoms as the result of an injury may include:
- Back pain: Your spine may receive significant stress after your car is struck from behind. While the pain may not surface right away, it could become sharp by the next morning. These are signs of potential damage to your vertebrate, muscles and ligaments.
- Headaches and fatigue: These symptoms, sometimes, accompany dizziness. They also represent a possible concussion or traumatic brain injury. Bleeding on the brain may occur after striking your head on the pavement, a slip and fall incident or being struck by a vehicle.
- A personality change: This may even be a dramatic shift as mood swings, depression and irritability represent signs of a severe head injury.
- Abdominal pain: This may include bruising and swelling, potential signs of internal bleeding. Organs such as the spleen, heart, lungs and liver may have sustained injuries. If not promptly treated, injury victims may die.
- Tenderness in the neck and shoulder: Neck and shoulder pain represent signs of whiplash, potentially leading to chronic neck pain.
- Numbness: This, too, may be the result of a whiplash injury. However, in such a situation, a victim may lose feeling in his or her arms and legs. It is a potential sign of nerve damage.
Even what you may consider the most minor incident could lead to injuries, some of which have delayed symptoms. Take care of yourself and seek medical attention whenever you sense something is amiss.