Hidden Injuries Car Accident Victims Should Not Ignore
Accidents can cause all manner of injuries, ranging from minor to fatal. Some of those injuries are easily detected while others can remain hidden until the victim undergoes a proper medical evaluation.
That is why it is so important to get medical attention as soon as possible after a collision. Some accident victims may delay getting treatment for fear of healthcare costs. However, if you were not at fault for the crash, you can pursue compensation from the driver who did cause the collision.
Our New Jersey car accident attorneys are prepared to help you file a claim and negotiate full compensation with the insurance company. We offer a free consultation to discuss your legal options, including your right to file a lawsuit if the offered settlement does not cover your damages.
Below, we discuss some of the most common injuries that may go unnoticed for some time.
Even in a minor car accident, vehicle occupants can experience a soft-tissue injury. These are typically muscle, ligament and tendon injuries that cause pain and reduce mobility. Some of the most common soft-tissue injuries after a crash are the following:
- Herniated discs
- Pinched nerves
The reason these types of injuries are considered hidden is that the injured victim may not feel symptoms for some time after the accident. This is generally due to the adrenaline the body produces during a collision. As the adrenaline wears off, which could take days or weeks, the body begins to feel all the aches and pains from their injuries.
People may think brain injuries are obvious because they believe it is only possible to suffer one if you hit your head on something. They may also think that a brain injury would leave a visible wound. However, this is not always true.
A brain injury, like a concussion, can occur simply by having your head violently whipped back and forth. This can cause your brain to smash into your skull, resulting in a concussion or other brain injuries, including the following:
- Edema – swelling of the brain
- Diffuse axonal injury – injuries to the axons of the brain cells
- Hematoma – when blood pools in the brain
- Hemorrhage – uncontrollable bleeding of the brain
- Hypoxic/Anoxic brain injury – shortage of oxygen to parts of the brain
If a blood vessel bursts in the brain during an accident, a person may experience a stroke long after the accident is cleared away.
These types of injuries are not visible, but accident victims should ensure they are properly evaluated because brain injuries are often fatal. Even if the victim does survive, he or she may suffer serious effects, like cognitive decline or depression.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Most serious spinal cord injuries may be obvious, as a person may not be able to feel his or her extremities. However, these types of injuries can be deceiving. A person may think he or she suffered a broken bone and therefore cannot move a leg or arm.
There are some spinal cord injuries that may not show immediate symptoms, though. For example, an accident victim who suffers a severe herniated cervical disc in the neck can have his or her spinal cord compressed by the herniation. If left untreated, the person can become paralyzed or lose upper limb functions.
Some of the most serious types of hidden injuries are internal injuries. This includes the following:
- Internal bleeding
- Punctured spleen
- Collapsed lung
- Liver damage
- Kidney injury
- Punctured lung
- Abdominal aorta rupture
- Diaphragm rupture
Because some of these injuries may not present exterior symptoms right away, accident victims may not get the necessary medical treatment to prevent a more serious injury.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
An emotional injury like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) could remain hidden for a long time after a collision. Although the insurance company may try to dismiss these types of damages, accident victims who suffer from PTSD after the collision know all too well how this can impact their life. It is also something that may be compensated when you file an insurance claim.
How Are Hidden Injuries Discovered?
Hidden accident injuries can be dangerous. At a minimum, your injury worsens, and your mobility is affected, or you experience pain. At worst, they could be fatal.
Getting a full medical evaluation after a crash can help catch some of these hidden injuries to prevent a more severe injury or death.
It may also be a good idea to speak to a mental health professional if you think the accident may have affected your emotional well-being.
What Symptoms Should Accident Victims Look Out For?
Even if you are not evaluated at the scene of the crash, you should keep an eye out for these symptoms of a hidden injury:
- Chronic fatigue
- Difficulty breathing
- Worsening body aches
- Change in mood or behavior
- Difficulty concentrating
If you experience any of these symptoms after a crash, you should get to a medical professional as soon as possible.
Get Help With Your Claim. Call Us Today
Just because you cannot physically see an injury does not mean it is not there. That is why accident victims should get a medical evaluation as soon as possible. New Jersey is a no-fault state, so your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance covers the costs of medical expenses no matter who caused the collision.
If you suffered an emotional injury like PTSD, you may be able to recover compensation as well by filing a claim with the liability insurance of the at-fault driver. Let our experienced attorneys help you through the process.
Call 800-518-0508 today to schedule a free consultation.