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Injuries May Not Be Immediately Apparent

Without the superficially obvious cuts, bruises or broken bones, many people come out of an auto accident feeling uneasy, but generally OK, in the immediate aftermath. When a traumatic experience like that occurs, most people are just happy to be conscious and alert.

But when a person is involved in a car accident, adrenaline often will mask the immediate pain of an injury. It is not until a person goes home and a few hours later, they begin to feel the effects of the crash as the adrenaline wears off.

That is typically because the areas most affected in an auto collision are along the neck and the spine. And the delicate nature of the back and spinal cord means that the pain caused by an underlying problem might not become evident until days or possibly even weeks later.

Because such injuries are not always immediately evident, you may not realize that you may still have the legal right to recover compensation. Therefore, it's important to speak with a capable personal injury attorney to discover all of your options.

Effects Of Trauma To The Spine

The spinal column is lined with disks, divided into 31 parts, that absorb impacts to the back like a cushion, and each disk is filled with spinal fluid that acts as a type of shock absorber. This delayed onset of pain in the back following a severe traumatic event like an auto accident is usually caused by the disks tearing and leaking fluid. People have a limited supply of spinal fluid in their disks. As the fluid leaves the disk through the tear, it bulges out, or becomes herniated, and when herniated, it can push up against the nerves that run through the spinal column. This drain of spinal fluid can start at the moment of impact and manifest itself in the weeks and months that follow as the fluid becomes depleted.

Reasons For The Delayed Onset Of Injuries

It may take time for the injury to catch up and make itself evident as the back adjusts to the trauma. The spinal column is the main throughway for nerves to pass to various points in the body; depending on which disk is affected, other issues related to the nerves may start to appear. For example, if you injured the disk in your lower back that controls the nerves to the toes and foot, this could lead to problems with those extremities as the inflamed spinal disk has less room and presses against the nerve. As the disk herniation becomes worse, so, too, might the seemingly unrelated nerve pain now running down from the spine to the foot and toes.

Make Sure You Visit A Hospital

It's always recommended that you visit a hospital immediately following a collision to get checked out for possible injuries. In many cases, if you are experiencing back pain right away, the most they will do in the emergency room is take X-rays to ensure that there aren't any broken bones. But other than that, patients are typically sent on their way and told to visit their family doctor if they have any lingering problems. The family doctor will then recommend next steps to treat lower back aches and pains in the aftermath of a car accident. A follow-up then with a specialist would most likely be needed. MRIs should be taken if the issues continue, which will allow doctors to observe and diagnose problems in the spinal cord much clearer than on an X-ray.

The Law Offices of John Morelli in Cherry Hill has decades of personal injury experience. Our New Jersey office also has access to resources to help you recover. If you have been involved in an auto accident and are looking to speak with a lawyer, call 856-528-3205 or send us an email.

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