Most people know that when you get in a car accident usually you sustain some injuries if not several. However, when you get in a “fender bender,” sometimes it may seem like nothing at all.
You may imagine that the simple act of seemingly tapping a car against another hardly warrants calling yourself “injured.” However, what many people don’t realize is that “fender bender” injuries can be some of the worst kind since you don’t see them coming.
Since they may not immediately be apparent, you may notice them several weeks later, at which point it may be too late to file a claim. However, even minor car accidents can have a big impact on your overall health.
Here are five signs that you may have been injured in your so-called “fender bender.”
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Many people assume that stiffness does not necessarily equate to pain. However, whiplash often starts out as simple stiffness and over time develops into a full flagged ache and eventually in some cases, to the point of blocked neck movement.
Watch for neck stiffness which starts to transform into a headache, and in some cases even starts to travel its way down the spine and arms. In extreme cases, whiplash may even impact the structure of your spine, which is why it’s incredibly important that you are vigilant about your body’s signals.
Head injuries can happen as a result of even low speed collisions. If you find yourself experiencing a headache after your fender bender, it could be a sign of a concussion or even a worse type of head trauma.
It’s important to note that dizziness may not come on right after the accident, but often a few hours later. Since these symptoms may not appear immediately, it’s critical to pay attention and note whether they eventually appear.
If you notice any sort of tingling or numbness in any of your fingers, toes, arms or any extremity for that matter, it could indicate nerve damage. Yes—even in a small fender bender. The problem is numbness and tingling may not come on until days or even weeks after the collision, which is why it’s so important to seek medical attention immediately after your collision even if it seems like nothing’s wrong. A medical examination will be able to determine whether you’ve suffered nerve damage or a herniated disc as a result of your accident.
Even innocent fender benders can take their toll on your mental health. If you start to notice that you have an irrational fear of driving following your accident, then it’s nothing to ignore. In many cases a small accident often results in a full-fledged larger accident several weeks to months later because the victim has so much anxiety surrounding driving. Pay attention to any emotional distress you experience, from flashbacks to nightmares, and take action as needed.