Personal Injury Lawyer Fort Lauderdale FL
One of the most common types of personal injury cases that we see at Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. are car accident cases. This is partially due to the fact that even minor fender benders can result in a serious injury, like whiplash or a concussion. In fact, an issue with minor car accidents is that many victims do not even realize they have been injured when the crash occurs because symptoms of injuries are delayed. Knowing what those symptoms are can mean the difference in a successful recovery or long-term physical issues from the injury. As a Fort Lauderdale FL personal injury lawyer can attest, delay in seeking medical treatment can give the insurance company ammunition to deny your claim.
One of the reasons why a victim may not immediately realize they have been physically injured in a crash is because of the emotional impact the crash has. Car accidents are traumatic experiences and when they occur, the human body immediately goes into fight or flight mode. This is a biochemical response to a perceived danger or threat.
When the body reacts in the fight or flight mode, it releases cortisol and adrenaline. These two hormones speed up the heart rate, deviate the flow of blood to groups of major muscles, slows digestion, as well as altering other autonomic functions. This gives the body a boost in its strength and energy level. When the threat is gone, the body goes back into normal functioning mode.
It is this fight or flight mode which can mask the pain that the victim would normally feel when hurt. Instead, in this state, the victim does not feel the pain and instead focuses on what needs to be addressed immediately after the crash – moving into a safe place away from oncoming traffic, checking on other potential victims, etc.
It can take a few hours for the effects of the fight or flight mode to wear off. This is when the victim may begin to feel some of the symptoms of potential injuries. In some cases, it can take days or even longer. This is why it is so important for anyone who has been in a crash to seek medical treatment immediately following the accident to make sure there are no injuries.
Some of the symptoms to watch for that could indicate that there is an injury that needs to be treated include:
- Abdominal pain: This could indicate internal bleeding.
- Back pain: This could indicate an injury to ligaments, spinal cord injury, or whiplash.
- Bruising or numbness: This could indicate an injury to the spinal cord or a herniated disc.
- Emotional distress: This could indicate a brain injury, concussion, or PTSD.
- Headaches: This could indicate a blood clot, brain injury, concussion, or whiplash.
- Shoulder or neck pain: This could indicate a spinal cord injury or whiplash.
If a victim is suffering from any of these injuries, they should immediately contact their physician, even if they had already been checked out after the crash. These are symptoms of potentially serious injuries and if these symptoms are ignored, the victim could suffer even more catastrophic – if not fatal – injuries.