What Are Delayed Shock Symptoms After an Accident?

car crash accident scene

Car accidents are a terrible shock to the system – quite literally. Physiological and psychological shock are two of the most common injuries suffered in car accidents. This article explores delayed shock symptoms after an accident, what you should do if you experience them, and how to pursue compensation.

What Is Delayed Shock After a Car Crash?

A traumatic event like a car accident can cause the body to go into shock.

  • Physiological shock occurs when the body doesn’t have enough blood to keep the organs working correctly. The disruption of blood flow is typically caused by a physical injury.
  • Psychological shock is a mental and emotional disruption caused by trauma. Strong emotional reactions can also cause physical symptoms after a car accident.

In some situations, the effects of physiological and psychological shock can take days or longer to manifest. Victims do not always discover internal injuries immediately, while psychological stress may worsen once the adrenalin wears off and a person has had time to process what has happened.

Examples of Delayed Shock Symptoms

Post-car accident symptoms of shock can include:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Weak pulse
  • Rapid pulse or breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Cool or clammy skin
  • Bluish tinge to lips or fingernails
  • Dilated pupils
  • Lightheadedness
  • Loss of consciousness

Delayed shock symptoms after a car accident may also cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the American Psychiatric Association, people who have experienced or witnessed a disturbing or traumatic event may develop PTSD. PTSD from car accident symptoms include:

  • Reliving the accident in your thoughts or nightmares
  • Feeling sadness, anger, anxiety, or fear
  • Detaching from people you love
  • Avoiding situations that remind you of the accident
  • Reacting strongly to a normal stimulus, like a sound or a touch

How Do Delayed Shock Symptoms Occur After an Accident?

In the instant of the accident, your body releases a surge of adrenaline as part of the fight-or-flight response. The adrenaline increases blood flow and may mask injuries until it subsides. For this reason, many victims say they are not injured right after an accident and only later discover that they actually are. Delayed shock symptoms after a car accident can also develop into PTSD over time.

How long does shock last after a car accident? Physiological shock must be addressed immediately, or its effects can prove fatal. Psychological shock may pass in days or weeks with medical attention. However, conditions caused by your injuries could cause shock months or years after an accident. The symptoms of PTSD can also prove long-term, even with counseling.

Claiming Compensation in Cases of Delayed Shock

If you are experiencing symptoms like the ones listed above, you need to see a medical professional who can diagnose, treat, and properly document your injuries. You should discuss your situation with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. If someone else caused the accident, they could owe you compensation for the harm you suffered – both physical and psychological.

Contact Our Experienced Virginia Car Accident Attorneys Today

Were you hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault? You need an experienced attorney on your side who will pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact the law firm of Arrington Schelin today to discuss your case for free with a Virginia car accident lawyer.