A car accident can be a traumatic experience that causes many types of injuries. The combination of shock and adrenaline can easily mask serious injuries, which is why it is critical to always go to the doctor after you have been in an accident.
Hidden injuries might take several hours or days to fully manifest. The following gives you a closer look at some of the most common hidden injuries caused in car accidents.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) could be difficult to detect immediately following a car accident. Imaging tests are often required to diagnose a brain injury, which might range from a mild concussion to a coma.
Because TBIs can be difficult to detect, many doctors prefer keeping patients overnight to keep a closer eye on their condition.
Whiplash and Neck Injuries
Whiplash is a particularly difficult injury to diagnose immediately after a car accident. That is because it will not show up on an X-ray and often takes several hours to days to fully manifest.
Whiplash often occurs when one vehicle strikes another from behind or the side. Many times, the occupants in the vehicle that is struck do not see the other vehicle coming, so they cannot brace themselves for the impact. The force of the collision causes the head to whip back and forth rapidly, which greatly strains the neck.
The soft tissues in the neck undergo a lot of trauma and become swollen and painful several hours or a couple of days after the accident. Fortunately, it often heals in a few days to a few weeks but might require time away from work and physical therapy.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Even vertebrae might suffer a hairline fracture or similar injury. After a few days, the pain from such injuries becomes more apparent. Imaging scans can help doctors diagnose spinal cord injuries.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are often hidden due to the trauma that your body experiences in a car accident. A sprain, torn ligament, or muscle injury might initially go undetected.
Shoulder injuries commonly occur in accidents partly due to seat belts. A collision could cause the shoulder to become dislocated and cause a variety of soft tissue injuries. Those injuries might include a shoulder sprain, rotator cuff injury, or torn ligaments or tendons.
The initial shock from a car collision could make it difficult to tell if an accident survivor has a damaged shoulder due to the initial bruising that occurs. Many times, a shoulder injury is more apparent a day or two after an accident.
Follow-Up Care Is Critical
Because a hidden injury might take several days or more to be diagnosed, you should do your best to obtain follow-up medical treatment, especially if you notice changing or new symptoms.
You should file a claim with your insurer. In some cases, you can sue the at-fault driver. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you with your case.
West Chester Car Accident Lawyer at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Helps Accident Survivors
If you have been injured in an accident and need legal help, do not hesitate to contact a West Chester car accident lawyer at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello. Our team will help you explore your legal options. Call us at (610) 892-4940 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We are located in Media, Pennsylvania, and we proudly assist clients in Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster, Montgomery County, Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, and West Chester.