Traumatic accidents like car crashes often occur so suddenly and violently that victims are often left in shock. This shock can be physical and mental. Importantly, the shock can mask pain and reduce or eliminate a person’s ability to remember what happened, making it challenging to know what happened and how injured a victim is. That is why it is not uncommon for victims of car accidents to tell police they don’t think they’re injured, only to find themselves needing medical attention days or weeks later.
In the aftermath of an accident, it is vital to seek medical attention to ensure that you didn’t suffer any severe injuries that need immediate treatment, regardless of whether you feel injured or not. It’s also essential to watch for delayed symptoms in the hours and days after the accident. Shock can mask severe injuries and be a health issue itself.
It’s crucial to know the symptoms of delayed shock and what to do if you experience it after an accident.
What Are the Symptoms of Shock?
Shock is a medical condition that occurs when the body’s blood flow drops suddenly, usually due to a traumatic event. Because the body’s organs need adequate blood and oxygen, the drop in blood flow can result in severe organ damage or even death in the most severe cases.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the most common symptoms of shock include:
- Faster pulse than normal
- Rapid breathing
- Pale, cold, or “clammy” skin
- Enlarged pupils
- Blue or gray tint to your lips or nails
- Dizziness, fainting, nausea, or vomiting
- Feeling weaker or more tired than normal
- Acting abnormally, such as being more anxious
If you experience symptoms of shock after an accident, call 911 for immediate medical assistance.
Why Might Shock Symptoms Be Delayed After an Accident?
Our bodies respond to dangerous situations by releasing adrenaline, our “fight-or-flight” hormone. When this happens, we experience more blood flow to help us fight off the threat or to run from a threat. Our hearts race and our breathing becomes more rapid. We may break out in a sweat, and our pupils may get larger.
Adrenaline also often masks pain. That is why you may not realize you are physically injured immediately after a car accident. Headaches, back and neck pain, and numbness or tingling are just some of the symptoms people can experience hours or even days after they walk away from an accident. If you have abdominal pain, it could be a sign that you have an internal injury.
Car accident victims might suffer delayed emotional trauma or shock, too, as a way of coping with what happened or could have happened. Victims might relive the accident over and over again. Accident victims often have difficulty sleeping or getting in a vehicle again. That is also known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Can You Recover Compensation for Shock?
Shock and PTSD can be debilitating. People suffering from shock can develop other issues such as depression and anxiety. They can also develop relationship issues.
If you experience car accident after-effects that negatively impact your life, you could pursue compensation for the mental and emotional harm you’ve suffered. Your best chance for seeking this type of compensation is to hire an experienced attorney who understands injuries like delayed shock.
What If You Initially Said You Weren’t Injured?
If you were in shock after the car accident, it is possible that you initially believed that you weren’t injured or that the injuries you suffered were not as severe as they ultimately turned out to be. If you reported that you weren’t hurt, don’t despair. Instead, seek medical attention as soon as possible to get a thorough exam and treatment.
Your next call should be to an experienced injury attorney. A lawyer can investigate the accident, collect all vital documentation, including medical records and treatment bills, and help you document your mental and emotional suffering. Your attorney can then build a convincing injury claim.
Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Lawyers for Help Today
If you’ve experienced delayed shock symptoms after a car accident and wonder if you can do anything about it, don’t give up. Contact the experienced Denver car accident injury lawyers at the Olson Law Firm, LLC for help. With offices in Denver and Cheyenne, we are proud to serve injured people in Colorado and Wyoming.
Contact us for a 100% free and confidential consultation today.