3 Hidden Injuries to Watch Out for After an Auto Accident

It might seem obvious that automobile accidents are incredibly disruptive and cause drivers and their passengers a lot of stress and headaches. Yet, some people never understand the severity of even small accidents until they’ve been through one.

Everyone involved must initially exchange contact information and check for injuries. Depending on the extent of the accident, they might need to deal with demands from emergency medical services and the police.

One or more tow trucks might need to pull vehicles from traffic lanes or take them to a garage. Vehicle owners must then file insurance claims and possibly face expensive repairs. They often need to rent temporary vehicles or use public transportation and deal with minor and not-so-minor disruptions to their school, work, and social schedules. They might also discover that they have to fight an insurer for coverage.

In response to all of these events, the human body performs a wide range of actions that can both make injuries worse and mask their existence. It tenses up muscles and other tissues, which compresses nerves.

It pumps out a lot of adrenaline and a cocktail of other hormones throughout every system that block normal, common-sense cognitive responses to injury and even decreases the sensation of pain. Mental stress as well can distract a person from understanding the full extent of their injuries for hours, days, or weeks.


Hidden Injuries to Watch Out for After an Auto Accident

For these reasons, it’s important that you, your loved ones and your physician check repeatedly for signs of “hidden” injuries after an auto accident. The following list covers the top three injuries that not only fail to draw attention at first but also cause the greatest amount of damage if left untreated for too long:

1. Brain Injuries

One or more dangerous blows to the head can occur during an automobile accident even if the airbags deploy. The most common types of brain injuries are traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The mildest form is called a concussion. During an accident, you can experience any level of TBI, including serious brain damage and internal bleeding.

Many people don’t immediately recognize that they’ve suffered a brain injury. They often incorrectly think that they need to lose consciousness for the brain to become injured. Yet, modern science has disproven the idea many times.

What types of delayed symptoms can occur with brain injuries?

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Ear ringing or tinnitus
  • Sensitivity to sound or light
  • Memory problems
  • Confusion and cognitive issues
  • Behavioral and mood changes
  • Difficult or slurred speech
  • Waves or acute fatigue
  • Dizziness or falling sensations
  • Mobility or coordination difficulties
  • Temple, skull or jaw pain

2. Tissues Injuries

Believe it or not, any type of injury to your body’s tissues from a car accident can dramatically change your life. Sprains, strains, and small tears in any part of your body can remain hidden for a long time before you start to notice them as something that causes concern. In fact, you might write them off as normal “aches and pains” related to typical daily activities and aging before you realize their true origin.

The biggest problem with what is commonly called “soft tissue” injuries is that normal, common body movements, such as typing, writing, bending, stretching, walking and lifting, can worsen the damage to the point that you suddenly experience severe pain and find that you’re unable to perform even the simplest tasks. A part of your body might lose joint stability from this type of injury or make it impossible for you to bear carrying your own body weight let alone lift and carry objects.

What types of delayed symptoms can occur with soft-tissue injuries?

  • Bruising up to 48 hours
  • Swelling and inflammation
  • Stiffness and limited range of motion
  • Formation of a knot, lump or twist under the skin
  • Muscle cramping, pulling, spasming or tearing sensations
  • Malfunctioning joints, such as an ankle that won’t bear weight
  • Hot or aching or sharp stabbing pain

3. Internal Bleeding

Did you know that a lot of people involved in automobile accidents walk away, go home seemingly fine and then later find out that they were suffering internal bleeding? Tremendous power and energy pass through a motor vehicle during an accident. If that weren’t the case, vehicle manufacturers wouldn’t need to design cars to crumple so that they absorb most of the energy to protect the driver and passengers.

Human bodies are amazing organic machines that don’t always show the impact of high forces. Unlike automobiles, humans can sometimes experience these forces without any outward sign or symptom.

Typically, the pain would help alert a person to the fact that they’re injured, but as already pointed out: human chemical and emotional responses to trauma can block this warning signal. As a result, many accident victims walk away, refuse to go to an ER for a scan and become severely injured or even die because of mild-to-severe internal bleeding.

What types of delayed symptoms can occur with internal bleeding?

  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Confusion or cognitive problems
  • Bouts of fainting
  • Feeling cold or extremely tired
  • Color of skin and complexion turning pale or gray
  • Low blood pressure
  • Aching or stabbing headaches
  • Bloody urine or stools
  • Nausea or vomiting blood
  • Swelling or pain in the abdomen
  • Wide, flat, purple bruise that represents pooling blood

Seek Medical Help Immediately

If you experience any of the symptoms outlined in this guide in hours, days, weeks or even months following an automobile accident, it’s critical that you seek immediate medical attention.

In fact, many medical experts recommend that drivers and passengers seek medical care right after an accident. To prevent long-term harm and disability or death, you should never refuse medical care and instead ask for appropriate diagnostic scans no matter how small the accident might seem at the time.

If you’ve survived delayed injuries from an automobile accident, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer like lawyer Kenneth King. A lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve to cover medical bills, job loss and other expenses and losses that commonly occur because of car accidents.

Since many states have strict filing rules, it’s important to seek legal advice and help as soon as possible to prevent missing a critical deadline. Contact us today to speak with one of our caring, experienced The King Law Firm professionals.

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