It could be a symptom of a number of different problems, including a herniated disc or other back and neck injuries that are common after a car accident. But instead of trying to diagnose your own injuries online, you should be getting proper medical attention from a trained health care professional.
After a car accident, injuries may not show up right away. In the chaos and excitement of the crash, your body tends to release adrenaline and endorphins that can cover up pain -- even significant levels of pain -- for hours. You may feel completely fine immediately after the accident, and then as things start to normalize, you might notice discomfort, stiffness, tenderness, and other indications that something is not right. (Learn more about late-appearing car accident injuries.)
That’s why, at the bare minimum, you should be scheduling an appointment with your primary physician right about now. After you explain that you were in a car accident, and you describe the symptoms you’re experiencing, your doctor will be able to give you an initial examination and then refer you to a specialist if any additional tests or exams are necessary. The longer you leave a potentially serious health problem untreated, the worse the condition may become, and the longer it will take for you to make a full recovery. And make no mistake, tingling in the hands could indicate a serious problem.
If doing what’s best for your health is not motivation enough, consider how delaying or forgoing proper medical care will affect any insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit you decide to bring over the accident at some point down the line. Insurance adjusters and juries may doubt the seriousness of your injuries if you delayed treatment. Or, the other driver (and his or her insurer or attorney) could claim that your injuries are attributable to some other intervening event that took place between the car accident and the time you sought medical treatment.
Any injury claim you make is going to need to be substantiated by corresponding medical records that show you received treatment from a health care professional. So, first things first: Get yourself to a doctor. Learn more: Get Necessary Medical Care After Your Car Accident.