Delayed Road Traffic Accident Injury Symptoms and Making a Claim 

Being involved in a car or road traffic accident can be a very frightening experience, and will likely leave you quite shaken, in addition to any injuries you might suffer. When shock sets in, it can be difficult to think clearly as your body reacts to the stress and adrenaline of the experience. In many cases, the side effects from your car accident can be delayed due to this shock and you may not start experiencing pain from your injuries for some time later. If you have developed delayed road traffic accident injury symptoms or discovered an injury following a car accident, you may be entitled to make a claim for damages. 

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident, it’s important to seek medical attention – even if you have no visible injuries. A qualified medical professional will be able to assess the impact of your accident, and help to uncover any internal or delayed injuries that may have not yet developed. It may also affect the outcome of your claim if you are not seen by a medical practitioner. 

Delayed Road Traffic Accident Symptoms

There are a number of injuries that take some time to develop after an accident. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Neck and shoulder pain: is commonly associated with whiplash and can be a sign of something more serious such as spinal injuries. Whiplash is a type of soft tissue injury that is caused by the head suddenly jolting against the body’s momentum, causing strain on the neck and back muscles / tissue;
  • Headache: can be very common and can be caused by many different factors, however a persistent headache should be investigated. Even a mild yet consistent headache could indicate an underlying injury that you may not have noticed. In many accidents, people can hit their head on the car’s interior and the force at which this happens can cause serious injury;
  • Behavioural or Emotional Changes: can be linked to a traumatic brain injury
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health disorder that commonly develops after a traumatic event. Symptoms include anxiety, depression, chronic pain and even gastrointestinal disorders;
  • Numbness and tingling: could be linked to nerve damage or spinal issues. You could also feel a weakness in a specific area. Neurological symptoms such as these are considered a medical emergency in the aftermath of a head, neck or back injury and you should immediately seek medical attention;
  • Back Pain: back injuries may include damage to the muscles, joints, discs, ligaments and even the spinal cord. As the initial shock begins to subside you may feel this pain more acutely and clearly;
  • Abdominal Pain: could be a sign of internal and soft tissue injuries, and could progress into something more serious if left untreated. Pain or swelling in the abdominal area can also be a sign of internal bleeding – one of the most common and dangerous delayed symptoms after a car accident. It should be treated as a medical emergency. Additional symptoms can include headaches, bruising and dizziness. 

You should monitor for any other changes in your general health in the aftermath of an accident, as injuries can manifest in many different ways. 

It’s important to seek medical attention and a full evaluation if you have been involved in a road traffic accident – even if you do not have any visible injuries immediately following the accident. This medical assessment might uncover injuries that you are not aware of, or uncover the full extent of injuries that you have noted. 

Making a Claim 

If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to make a personal injuries claim. Your first step in this process should be to contact your solicitor, who will advise as to whether your claim is valid, and your options in proceeding with the claim. To learn more about what to do after a car accident, you can read our blog on the topic here

For a claim to be successful, fault must be determined. In situations where blame is not clear, there are laws such as the Rules of the Road which will determine fault. Where both parties are somewhat responsible, ‘contributory negligence’ will come into play. You should speak to your solicitor if this is the case. And even if the other driver is not disputing liability for the accident, it’s always best to speak with your solicitor if you were injured in a road traffic accident. 

If you have been in a road accident and are experiencing delayed road traffic accident injury symptoms, and would like to discuss a personal injury that you have suffered, please contact the team at Martin A Harvey & Co. Solicitors and we would be happy to assist you. *

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.