What Are Delayed Symptoms?

Some injuries, such as broken bones, a victim can immediately recognize they are there. The accident victim will experience pain, the inability to move the affected limb, and other signs that something is wrong. Other injuries, however, may have hidden or delayed symptoms. Delayed symptoms may become noticeable later, after the adrenaline from the accident has left the victim’s body. Delayed symptoms are why it is highly important for an accident victim to seek medical care right away, even if they do not feel injured.

Common Injuries With Delayed Symptoms

Delayed symptoms are a patient noticing symptoms of an injury hours or days after the date of the accident. Some patients may not notice their injuries right away because of the adrenaline of the accident. Although almost any personal injury could have delayed symptoms, some injury types more commonly display late signs than others.

  • Traumatic brain injuries. The brain is a complex organ. Injuries and damage to the brain can result in unpredictable symptoms. Some patients may notice signs of a brain injury right away while others may not. The brain may be swelling or bleeding under the surface, but not presenting any noticeable outward signs. In some cases, only a brain scan can detect an injury.
  • Neck or back injuries. Many accident victims may not notice the presence of a soft tissue neck or back injury right away. The adrenaline of the accident could keep them from feeling the pain. In some cases, a back injury may not appear until later. For example, if a car accident caused degenerative disc disease in the spine, the victim may not notice until the injury leads to a slipped disc. Pain may not appear until weeks after the accident.
  • Internal injuries. Internal organ injuries may have symptoms such as pain or swelling in the abdomen, or they may not show immediate symptoms at all. Some internal injuries can go unnoticed by the victim for days after the accident. Unfortunately, many can be life threatening without immediate medical treatment.

It is critical to see a doctor after you have been in any type of personal injury accident in Oregon. It does not matter whether you feel like you have injuries or not. You could have injuries with delayed symptoms that are causing harm under the surface. In fact, some of the most serious personal injuries could have delayed symptoms.

What to Do After an Accident

Taking care of your health and safety is the most important task you have after an injury accident. Even if you feel fine, request medical care as soon as possible. Physical exams, x-rays, and medical scans may be the only way to diagnose a potentially serious injury.

  1. Call 911 or report the accident. Depending on the nature of the accident, you may need to call and report it to the police. Otherwise, notify your employer, a property owner, or a supervisor about the incident right away.
  2. Do not tell police officers you do not have injuries. You cannot know you do not have injuries for sure until you see a doctor. At the scene, tell police officers you do not know if you have injuries and that you need medical attention.
  3. Go to the hospital. Explain to the doctor the nature of your recent accident. If you do not know which doctor to go to, contact an attorney for assistance. A local law firm may be able to connect you with the right doctor to treat and document your injuries.

A personal injury could change your life. You may have the power to take your life back – if you catch the injury in time for treatment. Always see a doctor after any accident in Oregon. That is the only way to catch injuries with delayed symptoms, before it is too late.