Hidden and Overlooked Injuries
When people think of car accident injuries, what often comes to mind are bleeding, cuts and bruises, or other outwardly visible and immediate signs of trauma. Many serious car accident injuries do involve such injuries. However, this isn’t always the case.
Other types of injuries occur in car accidents, which may not cause external damage, but which are nonetheless just as serious as a cut or gash. Some injuries may even take a few days to fully manifest themselves!
One of the biggest mistakes car accident victims make after an accident is brushing off pain or self-diagnosing symptoms such as headaches or blurred vision as stress induced. Even if you aren’t bleeding, don’t have large cuts or bruises, it’s critical to get checked out by a medical professional within 14 days of any car crash.
By self-diagnosing or ignoring symptoms of pain, dizziness, or blurred vision, you could be overlooking these four serious car accident injuries that you didn’t even know you had!
1. Neck and Back Injuries
The rapid deceleration caused when two cars collide can wreak havoc on the bodies of drivers and passengers. The sudden and violent jerking movements are uniquely harmful to the neck and back and can easily damage vertebrae, ligaments, and discs.
One of the most common injuries sustained, especially in read-end collisions, is whiplash. Minor whiplash can simply cause neck pain and stiffness, but more severe cases can lead to longer-term effects such as blurred vision, headaches, memory problems, and depression.
Unfortunately, neck and back pain are often neglected or assumed to be “normal” after a car accident. The truth is, though, that any pain that you are in after an accident that you weren’t in before the accident is not normal.
2. Head and Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and concussions are some of the most serious and overlooked car accident injuries. Concussions are caused by the head smashing against a part of the vehicle itself such as the airbag, headrest, or steering wheel. The short-term effects of TBIs include nausea and vomiting, numbness, or blurred vision. But TBI can cause long-term damage as well such as chronic headaches, depression, behavioral changes, and seizures.
While TBI symptoms may occur immediately, some affects could also take days to manifest. Anyone who has had head trauma in a car accident should seek medical attention immediately to assess the damage. Medical treatment for brain injuries is complicated and costly, so it is critical to have secure records to detail the impact of the injury on your life and wellbeing.
3. Ligament Damage or Muscle Tears
The sheer force involved in a high-speed car crash is enough to fracture bones. While the pain associated with broken bones can be intense, fractures, especially compound fractures, are unlikely to be overlooked.
However, your bones are connected by ligaments and surrounded by muscles, which can be damaged too. You could even have a torn muscle or ligament damage without a severe bone fracture. Because you can’t see muscle tears or ligament damage, the pain associate with these injuries is often brushed off in the immediate aftermath of a car crash.
Unfortunately, muscle tears often require surgery and extensive physical therapy, which will be a more significant financial burden on you and your family. Therefore, it’s vital that such injuries be identified quickly.
4. Psychological and Emotional Injuries
Unless you have suffered a serious car accident before, you may not fully appreciate the range of psychological and emotional effects such an experience can have on a person, especially children and young adults.
In fact, a recent meta-analysis of previous studies concluded that over 22% of car crash survivors develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These psychological harms won’t be immediately obvious like cuts or bruises; they may take days or weeks to manifest. And you can be sure the insurance company or at-fault driver will fight tooth and nail to avoid paying for such damages.
Get Help and Start to Recover
As you can see, not all car accident injuries leave a bruise or cause bleeding. That’s why if you’ve been in a car accident in South Florida, you should see a medical professional within 14 days of your accident to assess any and all injuries you might have—both external and internal.
After you have begun your physical recovery, you can begin your financial recovery by calling our experienced Florida car accident and injury lawyers to guide you through the claims process.
The personal injury lawyers here at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center would love to speak to you about your case and tell you how we can help you get on the path to recovery. Call us today at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free case evaluation or fill out the confidential form below.