• Tom Girardi

How will you feel when the adrenaline and shock wear off?

After looking at the state of the wreckage resulting from your car accident, you may have felt astounded that you weren't seriously injured. You went home that night feeling okay, but what about the next day or the day after that?

Some injuries suffered in car accidents fail to make themselves known right away. You may have gone home without broken bones or bleeding, but that does not mean you escaped serious injury. In the days following your accident, pay careful attention to how you feel.

Signs to look for after an accident

Shock and adrenaline can hide a multitude of injuries. This could be why you were able to walk away from the accident. You probably expect to feel some pain or soreness the day after your accident. After all, that's normal. Right? It may be normal to a certain extent, but if you experience any of the following, you may want to seek medical attention right away:

Stomach pain: Pain in your abdominal region could indicate internal bleeding, which could quickly turn life-threatening. If you feel faint or dizzy, develop deep purple bruising or experience abdominal pain, it could be internal bleeding.Headache: You may try to dismiss that headache that doesn't seem to go away, but you shouldn't since it could mean you have a traumatic brain injury. Your brain has nowhere to go if it swells, bleeds, bruises or takes damage, and the situation will only get worse the longer you go without medical care.

Behavior changes: If you experience changes in your behavior after an accident, it could signal a brain injury. More than likely, those close to you will notice the changes sooner, so if they begin asking you questions about your behavior, don't dismiss them.

Numbness: Numbness in your extremities could signal a serious neck or back injury. Just because you walked away from your accident on the day it happened does not necessarily guarantee you will be able to walk today or tomorrow.

Pain: Pain in your back, shoulders and neck may be normal after an accident, but it could also signal issues that require medical attention.

Altered mood: Being in a car accident is a traumatic experience, and you may not realize how affected you are by it right away. Post-traumatic stress disorder can prove debilitating if not addressed.

Not every serious injury appears right away. Go to a doctor in the immediate aftermath of your accident to make sure you have not suffered serious injuries you are not aware of at the time. However, even if you do go to the doctor right away, some symptoms might appear later. If anything changes, don't hesitate to go back to the doctor. It's better to be safe rather than sorry.

If you are worried that you can't afford treatment, learn about your compensation options. If another driver caused or contributed to your injuries, you may have a claim.