Scores of people are injured in car accidents every year. Some injuries are obvious, such as cuts, bruises, and broken bones. However, there are injuries that are not as noticeable. If these injuries are left untreated, they can cause lasting pain and suffering. If you or a loved one have been in a car accident recently, look out for these five hidden injuries:
A traumatic event, such as a serious car accident, can cause damage to more than just your body. Your psychological and emotional state can also be impacted after an accident. You may even develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or a fear of driving or sitting in vehicles.
If the psychological effects of a car accident become severe, you may want to stay at home, or be unable to use your car for any reason. A psychologist may be able to help by offering coping techniques to control the symptoms, but the process takes time and can add significantly to your medical expenses. It is our experience that dealing with psychological trauma is best done sooner than later as it begins the healing process sooner, is less costly and time-consuming, and is more effective in the long run.
Since your seat belt only goes over one shoulder, an accident will place a large amount of pressure on the area as you are jolted forward during the collision. A car accident can also twist your body around, causing damage to the muscles and tendons in your shoulder.
Injuries like these might result in bruising or strains, while a more severe case may require surgery to repair tears in the muscles. If left unchecked or untreated, shoulder injuries can become even more painful over time.
Whiplash is a common car accident injury. After your crash, your neck and back may feel sore or tender. As with all medical issues, it is a good idea to get your neck pain checked out by a doctor fairly quickly.
If the force of impact during an accident is particularly strong, the tissue between your vertebrae can rupture or balloon out, creating a herniated disc. The disc can place pressure on the nerves that lead to your spine. This inflammation can potentially result in extreme pain and muscle control loss in your arms and legs.
Herniated discs often occur immediately, although some may not appear until months after an accident. If it is not treated properly, you may need surgery requiring an extended recovery period during which you may miss work and other activities. It can have a lasting impact on your life as you endure through pain and nerve damage.
A common occurrence during an auto accident is that a passenger or driver will be suddenly pushed forward, bashing their knees on the dashboard. The sudden impact can cause knee injuries, from bruising to a shattered knee cap.
The cartilage surrounding your knee can also become damaged during a car accident without obvious signs. Often, surgery is required to repair the damage. If injuries are severe, you may need physical therapy to return to a healthy state.
Although you may notice some initial injury, such as bruising or scrapes on your knees, symptoms of further damage may not appear until later.
Traumatic Brain Injury
If your head strikes something during a car accident, you may develop a brain injury. A traumatic brain injury can have a permanent impact on brain function. Often, these injuries are not noticeable immediately, with symptoms only beginning to appear weeks or months after the accident.
Some signs of brain injury include personality change, becoming forgetful, or displaying aggression towards others. If you have been behaving unusually or find yourself forgetting important information, you may need to seek the help of a neurologist. The same is true if you have been suffering from headaches, even if they seem fairly minor at first.
Why Do Car Accident Injuries Appear Later?
Car accidents are stressful situations. Everyone reacts to stress differently; whether that is experiencing a foggy brain or getting a huge rush of adrenaline. The way your body reacts to stress will determine how soon you feel pain and injuries after the accident.
Car crashes tend to happen very quickly. During impact, your body releases a flood of endorphins to block out the pain and help you react quickly. After the shock of the event fades away, your body returns to a relaxed state and pain begins to appear.
In addition, some injuries take time to form. For instance, back pain, or pain radiating into an arm or leg, due to inflammation caused by an accident might not appear immediately after the accident or, even for some weeks or months later.
How to Treat Hidden Injuries
The most important thing to do is to see a doctor immediately following the accident, especially if you are experiencing any pain or disorientation. If you begin to notice pain in other parts of your body at a later time, have the doctor perform another examination. Many of these injuries can lead to chronic pain and complications if left unchecked for too long.
Your treatment options after visiting the doctor will be determined by the severity of the damage done to your body. Some injuries require physical therapy while others may need surgery. Speak to your doctor about your options.
Cap and Kudler – Las Vegas Car Accident Attorneys
Here at Cap and Kudler, we understand the long-lasting damage that can happen during a car accident. You do not need to endure through the pain alone as we will fight for the respect and compensation you deserve. If you have been injured in a car accident, give us a call at (866) 412-7166 or contact us online to set up a consultation.