Whether a collision is minor or major, one of the first things we do when we’re involved in a car accident is check our body for injuries. Cuts, scrapes, bruises, and blood are typically the main things we look out for.
When the paramedics arrive at the scene, they too will be concerned about any injuries or wounds present on our bodies. They may ask us questions about any wounds or pain we’re experiencing, physically inspect our body, and even begin treating our injuries right on the spot.
However, some injuries aren’t so obvious right after a car accident. This is not only a disadvantage medical-wise but also when it comes to filing a personal injury claim after an accident.
Here are four common car accident injuries that you may not even know are present at first:
1. Herniated disc
In some cases, a car accident can be severe enough to rupture the tissue between the vertebrae of the spine, which is known as a herniated disc. When this occurs, nerves near the spine can become irritated and inflammed as the herniated disc places pressure on them.
In turn, you may experience pain that radiates, pins and needles, muscle weakness, or overactive reflexes. Sometimes, the signs of a herniated disc may not appear until weeks or even months after the accident. Someone with a herniated disc may suffer from long-term or permanent disability and may have to have surgery.
It’s not uncommon to experience a headache after a car accident. Even if the head or neck did not experience trauma during the incident, one may still have a headache right after or within the next few days after the accident due to the mental and/or emotional distress the incident may have caused them.
However, sometimes that headache you may be experiencing might actually be a concussion. This mild traumatic brain injury may not appear for hours or even days after the accident. Signs and symptoms include memory problems, confusion, speech changes, or difficulty with balance.
Head and/or neck pain in the form of whiplash after an accident certainly isn’t unheard of. This is caused by the head rapidly moving back and forth during the collision. This is common with rear-end accidents. Pain, dizziness, headache, tenderness, vertigo, and a stiff neck are common symptoms of whiplash. Some symptoms can be severe.
Most people experience the symptoms of whiplash within several hours while a third don’t recognize the symptoms until approximately 48 hours. One out of three people will still experience pain ten years later after dealing with whiplash.
4. Personality changes
Mental, emotional, behavioral, and/or cognitive changes may also come about after an accident. Just because they aren’t physical does not mean they don’t classify as an injury. Personality changes or odd behavior may be a result of a concussion or other brain injury. The person affected, however, may not notice anything different.
If you’ve recently been involved in a car collision, experienced accident injury doctors can help you treat both common and uncommon wounds, injuries, and conditions after the accident.
Although some folks can walk away from a car accident without a scratch, others may immediately notice pain and/or injuries. Then you have the folks who don’t notice injuries until days, weeks, or even months after the collision.
From a herniated disk to personality changes, there are different conditions and injuries one should look out for not just right after a car accident but for over the next few weeks. Noticing these symptoms can not only save your life but may also help when filing a personal injury claim post-accident.