When You Have Been Injured,Your Attorney's Experience Matters

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Virginia Car Accidents Can Cause Future Pain and Suffering

On Behalf of | May 8, 2014 | Traffic Accidents

More than 100,000
car accidents a year happen in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Now imagine you have been in one of these accidents. After the collision,
you immediately assess the damage—and thankfully, it appears that
nothing is physically wrong with you. Your doctor says you’re fine
and that you can go home. However, three days later, you start to have
horrible head and neck problems. You take pain relievers and shrug it
off as nothing, but what if that pain is actually a severe injury that
was hidden at the time of your recent car accident?

When you’re injured in a car accident, your doctor generally treats
the most apparent injuries first, such as cuts and broken bones. Once
these injuries are patched up, he may do an overall physical exam to detect
any other issues. If he is unable to find any more injuries, you’re
released and sent on your way. However, some injuries can take several
days, weeks, or even months to show their symptoms, even though the initial
injury began during the accident. The two most identifiable of these hidden
injuries are whiplash and concussions.


Whiplash occurs when your head is violently jerked from side to side, either
from the collision itself or from the pummeling of an airbag. This causes
strain, tearing, or spasms of your neck muscles.

In most cases, whiplash isn’t severe and can be treated with medication
and an ice pack. However, in some cases it can be very painful, requiring
physical therapy, motion exercises, and massage. Because a doctor can’t
physically see the symptoms of whiplash, the patient must describe the
pain in order to determine the severity of the injury.

It may take up to four days after a trauma for signs of the injury to appear.
Classic symptoms of whiplash are:

  • Neck spasms
  • Soreness
  • Stiffness or pain while moving the neck
  • Headaches
  • Swelling


Concussions, or mild brain injuries, also vary in severity and may only
show symptoms some time after the accident. They are caused when the head
violently jerks or strikes something, causing the brain to jostle in the
skull or become bruised. This type of injury can result in anything from
headaches and confusion, to loss of consciousness, to extremely severe
and permanent brain damage.

Much like whiplash, the severity of a concussion may take time to fully
present itself. In the less severe cases, headaches and confusion may
clear up as quickly as a few minutes, while the more severe cases may
take weeks or months to show personality changes, memory loss, or mental
instability. Symptoms of concussions include:

  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Memory loss
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Irritability, mood changes, or temper control issues
  • Anxiety and depression

All of these symptoms can be a result of a serious concussion and should
not be taken lightly, if you have been in a car accident within the last
six months

Get Relief for a Delayed Car Accident Injury

Both of these injuries—whiplash and concussions—can be very
dangerous. Therefore, if you were in an accident and have any of the symptoms
described above, even if your doctor cleared you of any injuries, do not
hesitate to get immediate medical attention.

The Virginia car accident lawyers at Shevlin Smith want to make sure you
are 100 percent safe and healthy after your collision. Furthermore, we
would like to answer any questions or concerns that you may have about
your accident. Please feel free to contact us at
703-721-4233 for a
free consultation.