Pain is a survival tool. It lets us know when we’re suffering harm. Tells us we need to do something about it. There are people with medical disorders which make them unable to feel pain. This condition, called Congenital Insensitivity to Pain (CIP) leaves victims at great risk. Many die in childhood from injuries they don’t notice. It may read strangely, but most of us are lucky enough to be able to feel pain. However, even normal people sometimes don’t feel any pain after an injury. Not right away, at any rate. Delayed symptoms from car accident injuries are, in fact, quite common. This is a legal as well as a medical issue.
WHY IS PAIN DELAYED?
There are several reasons for delays in feeling pain after a car accident injury. A general factor is endorphins. These are our bodies’ natural pain-killers. They affect us in ways very much like opioids such as morphine. Our bodies produce endorphins in response to physical stress or perceived threat. Car accidents are, of course, very traumatic events. Endorphins can mask victims’ pain and other symptoms for days after one. Aside from that, certain types of injury simply take some time to develop and cause pain.
DELAYED SYMPTOMS AFTER AN ACCIDENT
The most common class of delayed-symptom injuries involves the head, neck, spine, and back. Whiplash is a classic example. The delay is largely a result of hormonal changes caused by the trauma. Endorphin and adrenaline levels decline. The body then inflames the injured tissues to promote healing. That’s when pain levels increase. The delay can be hours, or even days. Simply put, our body’s response to this type of injury takes time to develop and results in pain.
The delayed appearance of a painful sensation in the head-neck-spine-back areas can indicate very serious injuries. So can numbness or tingling. Changes in hearing or vision. Delayed appearance of abdominal pain can indicate potentially fatal internal injuries. Psychological issues such as PTSD, personality changes, and memory issues are common, too.
LEGAL AND MEDICAL COORDINATION
The medical and legal approaches to delayed symptoms after a car accident are on the same page. It is vitally important for anyone involved in a car accident to get a medical exam ASAP. The doctor is then in a position to monitor the victim during the following days. And to intervene if symptoms later appear. At the same time, victims should reach out to a personal injury attorney. Legal positions, like medical symptoms, can worsen during the days and weeks after an accident. Victims can say and do things that weaken any claims they later want to make. Early involvement of a car accident lawyer, like that of the doctor, moves things in the best possible direction under the circumstances.