Many car accidents cause more severe injuries than a victim may realize in the moment. Typically, a victim may experience a car accident and believe that he or she got away with only slight bruises or abrasions, only to feel pain hours or days later.
This experience is very common. The legal and medical communities refer to these kinds of injuries collectively as delayed pain injuries, but the injuries themselves may range from relatively minor to potentially life-threatening.
The most concerning types of delayed pain injuries are those that cause abdominal pain in a victim. If not treated very quickly by a qualified medical professional, these injuries may very quickly turn fatal. In some cases, a victim may only have a matter of minutes or hours after feeling pain to seek proper medical care.
Should you feel pain in your abdomen after an accident, stop what you are doing right now and go to an emergency care facility. If you are unlucky, failing to seek medical treatment may be the last thing you ever put off.
Causes of delayed abdominal pain
While not all delayed abdominal pain is necessarily fatal, it is not possible to know the severity of any one victim's injuries without professional medical care. For instance, the stress of an accident may create tension and cramping in the abdomen, which is not generally an ongoing medical concern.
However, delayed pain may indicate serious injuries, too, like internal bleeding or damaged organs. Internal bleeding presents two distinct threats to a victim. Not only does the victim run the risk of dying from internal blood loss, even a very small tear in a vein may develop a serious infection that may then spread to other parts of the body. Some victims even experience infections spreading to their brain.
Organ damage may not cause pain immediately, but as organ damage turns into organ failure, the pain may grow intense quickly. Once organs fail, it is unlikely for a victim to survive without ongoing assistance from medical devices.
What should you do now?
Many victims worry that they cannot amend a previous statement to add that they now believe they suffered an injury in an accident. While this is not the simplest way to do things, it is common enough that it should not present a serious problem for an insurance company. The important thing to take care of first is making sure that you seek out all the medical care you need to address your injury. The rest is only important if you survive!
An attorney can help represent you to insurance companies and medical care providers, ensuring that you have the time and resources to focus on your physical recovery.