Everyone knows that they need to check themselves and their passengers for injuries after a car crash. Usually, people check one another for consciousness, signs of blood loss, and issues with motor function that might indicate a spinal cord injury. Broken bones and severe concussions may also be obvious at the scene of a crash.
However, just because someone can get up out of their seat and talk after a crash does not mean they will walk away uninjured. Some of the most serious injuries that people develop after a wreck may not actually present any symptoms at the scene of the crash.
Traumatic brain injuries
Sometimes, the signs of a traumatic brain injury after a crash are obvious. People may have bleeding from their orifices or may fall unconscious. Other times, they lose consciousness but regain it quickly and don’t notice any other reason for concern at the scene of the crash.
When the damage to the brain is not immediately catastrophic, someone may not notice symptoms right away. However, as the bleeding or bruising on the brain worsens over time, symptoms will develop. People may not know for days or even a couple of weeks that they suffered a brain injury in a crash.
Internal bleeding in the abdomen
The safety restraints in your vehicle can prevent you from fatal injuries in a wreck, but they can also leave you with serious injuries. Your seat belt or the steering wheel could cause trauma to your abdomen that result in internal bleeding.
People may not notice the issue at first because their biological response to the crash masks their pain symptoms. It may only be when they start to experience the fatigue associated with blood loss or notice discoloration or swelling in their abdomen that they realize they have suffered an internal injury.
Soft tissue injuries like whiplash
While hurting your neck or shoulders in a crash won’t necessarily require surgery and medical intervention, these kinds of injuries could still lead to thousands of dollars in lost wages and a diminished quality of life. Some people will need medical intervention to recover. It is often the day after a crash when someone wakes up and realizes that they have a significant soft tissue injury because of the inflammation, attention or pain that they experience.
Recognizing that car crash injuries aren’t always immediately obvious can help you take the right steps after a collision.