Auto accidents come in many varieties and cause a variety of injuries from minor scrapes to fatal puncture wounds. Some of these injuries can be easy to diagnose, but others might be more subtle and require an in-depth medical evaluation.
Most of us are not doctors and don’t know what to look for when diagnosing injuries. If something feels wrong after getting into an accident, then you should get checked by a doctor. Don’t wait until your symptoms become serious.
Below are common injuries that can go unnoticed without a proper medical examination:
1. Brain Injuries
After an accident, victims often assume that they can’t have a brain injury if they weren’t hit on the head. Many also assume that a brain injury would leave a mark on the head. Neither are true.
Brain injuries can occur from whiplash, which could cause your brain to slam into your skull. This type of injury would leave no mark and doesn’t require a hit to the head. Possible brain injuries from whiplash include:
- Hemorrhage (bleeding)
- Hematoma (pooling of blood)
- Edema (swelling)
- Hypoxic and Anoxic brain injury (shortage of oxygen)
While none of these injuries are visible, they can all have serious long-term consequences and be potentially fatal, so don’t prolong your visit to the ER.
2. Spinal Cord Injuries
Many spinal cord injuries may be obvious, for instance if you can’t move or feel a limb. However, some spinal cord injuries could be masquerading as other injuries. For example, you think that you cannot move a limb because of a broken bone, but it’s actually a spinal cord injury that’s preventing you from moving that limb.
Other spinal cord injuries might not be present at first but can be quite serious. For instance, a severe herniated disc could lead to paralysis if untreated.
3. Soft-tissue Injuries
Even in minor accidents, soft-tissue injuries are a real possibility. These are injuries to a muscle, ligament or tendon that can cause pain and limit mobility. Common soft-tissue injuries are:
- Herniated Disc
- Pinched Nerves
You may not notice the pain or symptoms of one of these injuries at first, due to the adrenaline released during the crash, so these conditions often go unnoticed. Hours or even days later you might feel the pain of these injuries, so get checked by EMTs on scene as many of these injuries are easy for professionals to diagnose and treat when caught early.
4. Internal Injuries
Internal injuries could be obvious. If you are struggling to breathe, you might have a punctured or collapsed lung. But other internal injuries are more difficult to spot and have less immediate and obvious symptoms. A few examples are:
- Internal Bleeding
- Liver Damage
- Kidney Damage
- Punctured or Ruptured Spleen
- Abdominal Aorta Rupture
Since these injuries might not present immediate symptoms, they can be overlooked by many crash victims and cause issues later.
5. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
A victim’s mental health can often be overlooked because of the stigma surrounding mental health issues. Additionally, it can take weeks or months for symptoms of disorders like PTSD to present themselves. PTSD can have severe effects on your quality of life and can be compensated when you file an insurance claim.
Many of the injuries mentioned here can only be diagnosed by trained medical professionals, so don’t hesitate to visit a doctor if you feel pain following a crash.
Please note this does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. The attorneys at Kirsch, Stone & Morgan can ensure that if you sustain any of these sorts of injuries, you will receive the best representation.