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The injuries caused by North Carolina auto accidents do not always show symptoms immediately.

In some cases, this may be a positive development. In the immediate aftermath of a catastrophic car or truck accident in Wilmington, the fact that an injured driver is able to escape the wreckage may save his life or that of his passengers.

More often, though, the body’s ability to suppress pain can lead to serious treatment errors. A car crash victim may feel a little shaken after the accident, but assume that he is fundamentally unharmed. Although emergency responders offer him a ride to the hospital, he says no. Four hours later, he suddenly loses sensation in his lower legs, and a few minutes after that falls to the floor—a result of an undiagnosed spinal cord injury. As an ambulance races to carry him to the nearest emergency room, it’s not clear whether he will ever walk again.

Warning Signs of Back Injuries After an Auto Accident

Neck and back injuries after a car accident are surprisingly common. Just as surprising is how often these injuries are overlooked or ignored by the victims themselves. It may take hours, days, or weeks for the symptoms of a back injury to become evident. Unless the right diagnostic methods—such as special imaging studies—are used immediately after the accident, the victim may be unaware that he or she has suffered a serious injury. With movement and the passage of time, the injured area can be activated to cause a medical crisis.

The chief symptom to watch for is delayed back pain, but the following other markers are signs that something serious is wrong:

  • Muscle spasms in the neck, shoulders, or back
  • Pain that worsens with activity and movement
  • Pain that is relieved only by lying in a specific position
  • Sudden intense soreness
  • Numbness or tingling in extremities or limbs
  • Fiery pain in extremities or limbs

Responding to Delayed Symptoms of Back Injuries

The most important principle to remember about back injuries is that early diagnosis offers the best option for a recovery. If you have been involved in a auto accident in North Carolina, you owe it to yourself to have a complete medical examination as soon as possible, even if you feel okay.

You also should realize that a delay in the symptoms doesn’t mean your back injury is worth less attention. Even the most serious injuries can take time to reveal themselves. A sudden change in your condition is also a signal that you need prompt medical attention.

Unfortunately, insurance companies often will argue that a delay in symptoms means your injuries were not caused by the traffic accident, but by some other event that occurred more recently. That’s why you should enlist an experienced Wilmington car accident attorney to fight on your side.

At Speaks Law Firm, we have the resources and drive to take on even the biggest insurance companies and their pack of lawyers to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us at 910-341-7570 locally or 877-593-4233 statewide toll-free. When you call for your free case evaluation, we also will send you a FREE copy of The North Carolina Auto Injury Book, just for asking, as our way of introducing our team.