A lot of times, I receive inquiries from new clients reporting delayed pain after a car accident – usually 24 to 96 hours after impact.
It is common for victims to not to feel the effects of a car accident, even a car accident with significant impact, for days.
Pain 48 to 72 hours following car accident
When you are involved in a car accident, your body enters a state of shock and produces adrenalin and endorphins which can mask pain – especially “soft tissue” pain.
Once the Adrenalin and endorphin’s wear off – usually 48 to 72 hours after the car accident – the pain really kicks in. Many clients consider these “delayed injuries”.
This is inaccurate. However, these injuries were as a direct result of the car accident; the delayed affect is your body’s defense mechanism in response to the pain.
Here’s a breakdown of a common example of “delayed” pain after a car crash
For example, in a rear-end accident, your neck is violently and unexpectedly “whipped forward and back”, commonly called “whiplash”.
This sudden acceleration and deceleration of your neck can cause damage to the gel-like inter-vertebral discs lining your spine.
These discs act as “pads” or “cushions” between each vertebra and serve to stabilize the spine and minimize the impact of movement.
If these discs become damaged, the space between the vertebra narrows and/or nerve roots become pinched – putting pressure on the spinal cord or never root.
Even after a motor vehicle accident causing significant disc damage, the associated pain may not manifest itself for days, if not weeks. Common injuries include from whiplash that are initially masked after a car accident include:
- Muscle spasm
- Decreased range of motion
- Pins & needles
- Numbness/shooting pain in the shoulder, arm, & hand
You should receive medical treatment — NOW!
If you exhibit delayed pain after a car accident, it is important to immediately receive medical treatment and consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. An experienced personal injury lawyer like LSC Law can help direct you the doctor best suited for your type of injury, usually a chiropractor, physiatrist, neurologist, or orthopedic surgeon.
Receiving prompt medical attention after a car accident will ensure you are properly compensated in the event you have a significant injury.