Injuries from car accidents statistics by the NHTSA show that about 42,915 Americans died in a car crash in 2020 alone. However, non-fatal car wreck injuries are far more common, with at least 2.2 million of these being recorded over the same period. Most car accident injuries are obvious, including broken bones and cuts.
Unfortunately, some types of accident injuries are not noticeable right away. This may be attributed to the production of adrenaline hormones, which can mask some of the common injury symptoms. The fact that hidden car accident injuries are not apparent does not make them less serious—they could also have life-long effects.
If your hidden car wreck injuries were caused by a negligent driver, an experienced New York car wreck lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. That said, here are six of the common hidden injuries and symptoms to watch out for after a car wreck:
Back and Spine Injuries
Injuries to the spinal cord are pretty serious and often have lasting effects on the victim. Unfortunately, some injuries to the back or spinal cord are not always apparent. If the accident caused serious trauma to the head or neck area, it is always safe to assume that your spinal cord was injured.
One of the most common spine injuries from car accidents is herniated discs. Other hidden spinal injuries to watch out for after a car accident include spinal concussions, nerve damage, and spinal cord fractures. Although some of these injuries may not be apparent, they can be severe—even lead to paralysis.
Another injury to the back that may not be apparent at first is bleeding and swelling around the spinal cord. If not attended to, such an injury can worsen with time, leading to numbness or even paralysis. If you or your loved one suffered a traumatic back injury due to the negligence of another person, car wreck lawyers can help you explore your legal rights.
Did you hit your head against something during a car accident? If the impact was hard enough, it can cause your brain to bounce around within the skull. This has been known to cause traumatic brain injuries that are rather hard to detect at first.
Following a car wreck, your brain could be swollen and bleeding slowly. You may not even experience any symptoms until the brain has sustained significant damage.
If the brain has slow bleeding or swelling, for example, the victim may not notice any symptoms until the injury has worsened enough to cause more significant damage. To avoid further brain damage, these are some of the delayed car wreck injury symptoms you should watch out for:
- Inability to remember events leading to the accident
- Ringing in your ears
It is also possible to suffer a concussion and not lose consciousness. If you experience these symptoms, seek medical attention right away, and then contact a good auto accident injury lawyer.
In addition to a brain concussion, rapid head movement or a blow to the head can also cause whiplash. This is another hidden injury to watch out for after a car wreck as its symptoms may not show right away. Whiplash affects neck muscles and tendons and the associated pain may take time to reveal.
Some of the symptoms you should look for are:
- Neck stiffness
- Numbness and tingling sensation around the neck injury
Soft-Tissue Hidden Car Wreck Injuries
Unlike hard-tissue injuries like broken bones, soft-tissue injuries are often missed after a car wreck. Soft-tissue injuries include muscle sprains, strains, dislocations, and tendon injuries. While their symptoms may be delayed, these are some of the things to watch out for:
- Pain and stiffness
- Restricted movement or trouble moving
Soft tissue car accident injuries often occur around the shoulders, arms, and wrists.
Injuries to Internal Organs
Considerable impact to your chest and abdomen area during a car accident could also cause injuries to your internal organs. For instance, the force exerted on your body by the seat belt can lead to internal organ injuries.
Since internal organs are concealed, it is hard to tell whether they’ve been injured in an accident right away. Some of the organs that could have hidden injuries after a car wreck include the kidneys, liver, heart, and lungs. If not noticed and treated in time, the injuries could cause you to lose important body functions.
To be on the safe side, go for a thorough checkup immediately after the accident. Only a doctor can successfully diagnose hidden car wreck injuries long before you start experiencing the symptoms.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
As our car wreck lawyers will tell you during a free consultation, you may also get compensated for the mental and psychological suffering you experienced after a car accident. Experiencing or witnessing a serious auto accident is often a traumatic experience.
Unlike the most common injuries from car accidents, PTSD resulting from a car accident is diagnosed days or even weeks after the crash—in almost every case.
Amid all the chaos and confusion associated with a car crash, adrenaline—the flight or fight hormone—kicks in. This can easily mask some warning signs after a car accident and make it hard for accident victims to know that they are injured. As you might have heard, some car wreck injuries are not noticeable immediately after the accident.
As a matter of fact some hidden injuries to watch out for after a car wreck can take weeks to months for the first symptoms to manifest. This does not necessarily mean that they are less severe—some have been known to progress slowly and result in fatalities or permanent disabilities.
This is why you are advised to seek medical attention immediately after an auto accident. A doctor will examine you thoroughly and identify the hidden car wreck injuries discussed above. At the Joseph Perrini law firm, we can help you leverage this diagnosis to get the compensation amount you deserve.