Most all car accidents, from small fender-benders to multi-car pile-ups, are traumatic events. This is to be expected given that there is a massive amount of force placed on the bodies of passengers in these accidents. However, many times, victims of car accidents feel the accident was minor, and they won’t notice any injuries right away.
An accident can cause the body to release endorphins and adrenaline, which can block the body from feeling pain. It’s not until these chemicals wear off that you may begin to notice or feel hidden injuries. The following are some of the hidden injuries to look for after a car accident.
Everyone knows back and neck strains from whiplash are fairly common in accidents. This type of injury can be much more serious though. Sometimes so much force is produced in a collision that it causes the tissue between the vertebrae in the spine to rupture or balloon out. This is known as a herniated disc.
A herniated disc can put immense pressure on and inflame the nerves coming out of the spine. This can cause severe pain, loss of feeling, and even loss of muscle control in your arms and legs. Most of the time, this injury will be noticeable after a few days, but it can also develop weeks and even months later. These injuries can lead to permanent disability and may require numerous surgeries to repair the damage.
This delayed onset of pain is why any personal injury attorney will tell you how important it is to get a medical evaluation following an accident. With documentation of medical evaluations, you have a better chance of getting compensation for herniated discs and other unexpected injuries.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
When your head is whipped back and forth during an auto accident, or if the head were to strike something inside the car such as the dashboard, there may be some impact on the brain. This type of impact is called a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and it can damage the way the brain functions long term.
These injuries aren’t seen right away. Only months later will the injured person notice they are becoming forgetful or that their personality has changed. Victims may be less patient and easily become irritated and angry when they hadn’t been this way before. Anyone who may have had a concussion in an accident or was knocked out should look for signs of a TBI so that they can get checked out by a neurologist right away.
When people experience a traumatic event, it isn’t just the body that can become damaged. The psychological and emotional state of someone who was in a bad accident can be seriously impacted. Accident victims can develop a phobia of being in a car or driving. These phobias can become so severe that the victim can become entirely unable to ride in a vehicle at all.
If the accident involved loss of life, it is possible a survivor can develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If a phobia or PTSD develops, then psychological care should be sought out right away. Psychologists can help patients overcome any aftereffects. Treatment is important because without it, phobias and PTSD can have a permanent negative effect on someone’s life.Clearly, there are many types of injuries people can receive in a car. The damage may not immediately be apparent initially, which is why anyone in a car accident should pay so much attention to how they feel in the months after an accident. This way they can get the treatment needed to feel like themselves again.