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Common injuries after a car wreck might take time to appear

People often focus on the immediate symptoms that they notice after a car crash. What they might not realize is that there are some problems that can appear in the days and weeks after the crash. These can be just as serious as those present at the scene of the wreck.

Knowing what to watch for in the period after the crash can help determine whether you need medical care of if you are able to manage the symptoms on your own. Many of the most common injuries do need to be checked by a doctor, so make sure you are being vigilant after the incident.

Neck pain or limb numbness

Neck pain or limb numbness after a car wreck can signal a problem with the spine or associated structures. Whiplash is one of the possible injuries when you have these symptoms. Around 20 percent of victims of rear-end crashes will have whiplash. You might notice neck stiffness and loss of range of motion if you are one of these individuals.

Back pain or pressure

Lower back pain and pressure are commonly associated with side-impact or rear-end crashes. While it is possible that these symptoms signal only a muscle injury, it is also possible that they are warning you of a nerve or spine problem that is more serious. You should be especially careful if you have symptoms that progressively get worse instead of starting to get better over time.

Headaches and personality changes

Headaches can be caused by whiplash, but it is also possible that they are the result of a brain injury. Some brain injuries can take a few days or weeks to begin to become evident after a car crash. If you have a headache combined with other symptoms, you should be cautious. Personality changes, dizziness, vision changes and similar signs can all signal a brain injury.

Emotional trauma

Another impact that is possible after a wreck doesn't have anything to do with a physical injury. You might experience anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, which can have a negative impact on your life. You might have trouble leaving home because you are worried about getting into another accident. The anxiety over what happened may become crushing.

After the crash, it is prudent to seek compensation for the damages. This holds the driver -- or other parties deemed liable -- who caused the accident accountable for their actions.

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