The human body is a holistic machine with an incredibly complex and systemic makeup. Oftentimes, injuries involving one area of the body impact and affect many other areas and organ systems – even if there is no obvious or apparent connection between the injury and resulting adverse symptom. This is often the case with car accident symptoms.
In the aftermath of a serious car accident, many injuries are apparent from the outset (e.g., broken bones or lacerations). However, victims may also experience the onset of serious injuries weeks or months later – and it is not always clear whether the symptom is related to the impact of the collision. The following are some of the lesser-known symptoms of physical injuries related to auto accidents, and represents a small sampling of the wide array of possible afflictions an auto accident victim may face.
1) Tingling in the Extremities: Tingling or burning sensations in the hands or feet could indicate possible nerve damage, which is not uncommon in the event of a severe auto accident. In the event of blunt trauma, the ligaments, facets, and disc joints may become inflamed or damaged. Moreover, tingling in the extremities – a condition known as peripheral neuropathy, a condition affecting up to 20 million Americans – could ultimately result in disability or a loss of mobility if left untreated.
2) Stiffness or Slowed Reflexes: Whiplash is a soft-tissue injury that often occurs as the result of an auto accident. Also known as a “soft tissue injury,” whiplash is caused by the rapid movement of the neck either backward-forward or side-to-side. In addition to stiffness and slowed reflexes, whiplash can also manifest as:
- Neck pain and/or loss of range of motion in the neck
- Headaches starting at the base of the skull
- Shoulder tenderness
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory difficulty
3) Concussion Symptoms: A concussion occurs as a result of a traumatic injury causing the brain to strike the inside of the skull. Unfortunately, the symptoms of a concussion are not always immediately apparent, and often mimic other symptoms. In the days following an auto accident, concussion symptoms may manifest as:
- Blurred vision
- Loss of balance
4) Mental health: Mental and emotional health is a serious consideration in the aftermath of a severe accident, particularly if the accident involved egregious injuries or fatalities. In some cases, victims may develop the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) without realizing it, which may manifest as anxiety, depression, misplaced panic, and disruptions of one’s typical personality. As well, the symptoms of PTSD or a related mental health condition do not necessarily appear until weeks or months after the accident.