When driving along a Delaware roadway, you can reasonably expect that all other motorists and pedestrians will adhere to traffic laws and safety regulations. There’s no guarantee, however, that you’ll safely arrive to your destination, especially if a distracted or intoxicated driver is nearby. A sudden collision can have lasting physical, emotional and economic consequences, but damages aren’t always immediately apparent.
If another driver hits you, it’s not only important to seek medical attention at the time but also to closely monitor your condition in the days and weeks that follow the collision. If you’re not feeling better as time passes or if a new symptom develops, you might have an underlying injury that you weren’t aware of at the time of the crash.
Injuries that often occur from the force of a collision
It’s understandable that you’d feel emotionally distraught after another vehicle hits you. In addition to emotional trauma, physical injuries are common in a collision, such as those included in the following list:
- Traumatic brain injury, such as concussion or skull fracture
- Herniated disc or other spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Contusions and lacerations
- Sprains, strains or tears in muscles or tendons
- Nerve damage
- Internal organ damage
If the impact of a collision causes blunt force trauma that results in a contusion (bruising) or laceration (cut), it would likely be visible in the immediate aftermath of the crash. However, if bruising appears behind the ears or under the eyes some time later, it is cause for concern because it often signifies a brain injury.
Be concerned if these symptoms develop
In the days following a collision, your life might feel unsettled for a time. It can take a long while for the emotional trauma caused by a car accident to subside. You might experience stress from dealing with insurance issues, car repairs and other matters. Any of these issues can cause you to not feel well. However, if the symptoms shown in the following list should accompany your ill-feeling, it’s best to seek further medical attention because you might be exhibiting delayed signs of injury:
- Twinging, throbbing, tingling or numbness in extremities
- Head pain or discomfort in your jaws or facial area
- Neck, shoulder or back discomfort
- Abdominal pain
- Cognitive impairment, such as speech difficulty or incoherency
- Nausea or vomiting
These symptoms are often signs of severe brain injury, nerve damage, compression fractures or other potentially serious conditions, some of which can be life-threatening or may result in permanent disability.
Getting the treatment and care you need after a collision
There’s no way to predict how long it will take you to recover after a motor vehicle collision. Even minor injuries can cause lingering pain and discomfort. If your injuries are severe, you may need specialized care, such as surgery or physical therapy, in the weeks that follow the incident.
Delaware law provides recourse to recovering accident victims who have injuries caused by another driver’s negligence. Many recovering victims seek restitution by filing personal injury claims in civil court.