Feeling Okay? The Five Signs You’re Hurt after a Car Accident
A crash happens in seconds, but the effects can last for months – maybe years. Forces involved in an impact of that magnitude damage the human body in ways you can’t anticipate. Many accident victims believe they’re not even hurt after the collision, and wave off medical treatment as if it’s unnecessary. They might even tell their insurance company they’re not hurt, a decision that could cost them thousands of dollars in compensation down the road. What might feel like a pulled muscle could actually be a symptom of something far more serious. Here are the signs and symptoms to watch out for in the days following your accident.
1. Tingling in the Fingers and Toes
Tingling or loss of sensation in your fingers and toes are common, initial symptoms of a torn disc in your spine. The crash impact creates a small tear, which allows the gel-like fluid cushioning your spine to leak out and put pressure on surrounding nerves. Because your spine controls sensation impulses for your entire body, damage to a single disc can affect everything from your toes to your eyelashes. This type of injury gets progressively worse over time, and will not heal on its own without medical help.
2. Burning Sensation in Your Legs
The term ‘sciatica’ is a medical misnomer because it doesn’t technically exist. The pain you feel, that persistent burning sensation down your thighs, is inflammation-putting pressure on your sciatic nerve. The car crash could’ve herniated a disc in your spine or torn muscle fibers in your back, which cause the swelled tissues to impinge on the nerve. Addressing the root injury with your doctor can help alleviate the pain in your extremities, but it won’t heal overnight. Without treatment, nerve damage can lead to weakened muscles, loss of coordination, and even partial paralysis.
3. Ongoing Headaches and Dizziness
A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury, and one you could easily suffer in an auto collision. A headache that won’t go away, dizziness, confusion or difficulty with your short-term memory could be symptoms that you’ve sustained a concussion because of the accident. You need immediate medical attention to determine the extent of the injury and to rule out other, more serious, complications. The injury might actually be part of a more significant issue, including a fractured skull or bleeding into the brain. Both could carry potentially life-threatening problems if left untreated.
4. Loss of Coordination in Hands
Diminished coordination could be a symptom of a serious injury in the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident. Pressure on the nerves leading to your limbs could be causing muscle death, which can be permanent if not treated promptly. Alternatively, you could be dealing with a brain injury similar to a concussion, which can lead to vision problems and difficulty sleeping. Left untreated, your loss of coordination could worsen making it impossible for you to continue working.
5. Pain in Your Jaw
Pain in the hinge that connects your jaw to your skull can be a symptom of car crash trauma. A tear in the tendons or muscles that form the connection leads to swelling, which creates the pain when you open your jaw or try to chew. The discomfort may only worsen as the days progress, making it impossible to eat or even talk without an extreme throb in the affected area.
Immediate medical treatment is the key to diagnosing your injuries and developing a treatment plan to affect the quickest recovery possible. Without a doctor’s attention, the insurance company could allege that your injuries aren’t related to the crash, and deny you your rights to compensation. If you’re hurt, our accident attorneys in New Jersey can help you obtain the kind of money damages you deserve.