Motorized vehicles have become such an integral part of most people’s everyday lives, especially in a city as large as Baltimore is, that sometimes we all forget just how dangerous they can be. But the more vehicles there are on the road, the greater your chances of being involved in an accident.
Even a seemingly minor motor vehicle accident can have damaging effects on your body, and those effects may not be apparent until days, weeks or months after the accident happened.
After a car accident, you may not know what to do next or where to turn for advice. You need someone who can tell you which doctors to see, how to file your injury claim against the responsible party and what kind of physical symptoms you may experience as a result of your injuries. And this is exactly the reason why you need a lawyer who specializes in car accidents.
Reputable car accident lawyers in Baltimore advise that if you do not feel injured immediately after your accident, you still need to be on the lookout for symptoms that take longer to develop and appear. You can still recover compensation from the responsible party even if your injuries are not immediately apparent.
Here are some of the most common symptoms you should watch out for:
Numbness or tingling in any part of your body
Numbness is complete loss of feeling and sensation, and tingling involves a partial loss of feeling. Both are indicative of potentially severe neurological injuries and require treatment from a neurologist.
After a car accident, it is not uncommon to feel numbness or tingling in your arms, hands, fingers or legs depending on what type of underlying injuries you suffered. Numbness and tingling should not be allowed to linger without being treated. Seek medical attention as soon as possible if you are experiencing either one.
Swelling in any part of your body
If any part of your body appears to be abnormally large or bulbous and feels tender or achy, you are experiencing swelling. Swelling is a sign of fluid accumulating underneath your skin, usually around an area of the body that has experienced some sort of recent trauma.
It is your body’s way of giving the injured area an additional layer of cushion to protect it from being injured again and allowing it to heal properly. Go see your doctor if you notice swelling so you can be examined and the doctor can determine how severe your injuries from the accident really are.
Bruising on any part of your body
Your body bruises when any of the small blood vessels underneath your skin have been damaged. This damage is almost always the result of some sort of physical trauma–like, for example, the striking part of your body against the inside of your vehicle in an accident. Bruises tend to change in color as they heal, often going from blue, black or purple to red then yellow.
When you have been in an accident, you may end up with bruising on your head, face, arms, hands, knees, lower legs, feet or abdomen. The bruising’s location and severity will depend on what part of your vehicle was impacted, how forceful the impact was and how compact your vehicle’s interior is.
Because human neck muscles are not particularly strong and are not designed to withstand the snapping motion even a low-speed, light-impact car accident can cause, neck pain is one of the most commonly found symptoms in accident victims.
The pain could be a sign of nothing more than a minor injury in your neck muscles, but it could also be a sign of a bulging disc, herniated disc or other severe injury which may require surgery.
Mid-back and lower back pain
Pain in the middle of your back or in your lower back is another common post-car accident symptom. Back pain typically stems from an injured back muscle or ligament that was subjected to a sudden, unexpected movement or atypical body mechanics.
It should come as no surprise that car accident victims often have lower back pain, as car accidents frequently result in unexpected movement or unnatural body mechanics when they occur. If your lower back pain continues down your legs or has some associated tingling, you likely have some nerve damage that needs to be treated.
In a car accident, you may strike your shoulder on something, suffer a direct shoulder impact from the other vehicle or Mild shoulder pain could be a sign of a sprain or strain that will resolve in a few weeks.
But shoulder pain severe enough that it prevents you from having full range of motion, makes everyday tasks difficult and keeps you from being able to sleep comfortably is indicative of a more significant problem–possibly a torn rotator cuff or a damaged acromioclavicular joint, either one of which could require surgery to repair.
Headaches typically happen after you strike your head during a car accident. Depending on how forceful the impact is and what area of your vehicle is impacted, you could conceivably hit your head on your headrest, steering wheel, window or roof.
Headaches can make you more sensitive to light and sound. If they are severe enough, they can also negatively affect your vision and cause nausea. If you are experiencing headaches, you may have a concussion or a latent traumatic brain injury.
Blurred or worsened vision
Vision problems following a car accident could be the result of a direct injury to your eye. They can also occur if you hit your head during the accident. If your vision seems to have lost its sharpness or just to have worsened in general, you should go to your doctor and get a referral to an ophthalmologist or a neurologist. A specialist will be able to determine what the source of the problem is and give you the treatment you need to correct it.
Knee pain and lower leg pain
Keeping your legs protected during an accident is difficult. The force of the impact can cause you to hit your knees on the dashboard or cause them to hyperextend. Any type of leg pain makes it more difficult to walk, and having difficulty walking makes every other part of your life more complicated.
Leg injuries can range in severity from bruising, swelling and contusions, torn muscles or ligaments. Even if you are able to tolerate the pain these injuries cause, you should not have to.
Car accidents are scary, and they can introduce quite a bit of uncertainty into your life. They can leave you feeling vulnerable and overwhelmed, unsure how you will cope or how your body may feel.
Finding an attorney to guide you through the post-accident process will help prevent fear of the unknown from taking hold of you. You deserve peace of mind, justice and compensation for your injuries. Now you know how to get them.