One of the most concerning issues in a car crash is the possibility of someone getting hurt. The high speeds of the vehicles involved in many collisions can easily lead to severe, and even fatal, injuries. The first response that the average person has in the wake of a collision is to check themselves and the other people in their vehicle for signs of significant injuries.
People may test their arms and legs to make sure they can still bear weight and will ask their passengers to do something similar. Such cursory inspections are a good move, but they are far from authoritative. People can and often do overlook serious injuries at the scene of a crash. These are just some of the injuries that people frequently fail to notice right after a collision.
1. Whiplash and soft tissue injuries
Someone could be in a position where they will experience debilitating pain for weeks and not yet know it after the crash occurs. Soft tissue injuries are a result both of the body bracing against the violent motions of the vehicles and the crash on the bodily reaction to that overexertion.
Many people do not realize that they have soft tissue injuries until the day after the crash, sometimes even later than that. Such injuries may require thousands of dollars in treatment and pain management expenses and could keep someone from working for several months.
2. Broken bones
Car crashes are often responsible for the most gruesome and painful fractures that people experience, including open or compound fractures where the bone exits the body and comminuted fractures where the bone breaks into many small pieces.
However, crashes can also cause stable fractures where the bone breaks but remains aligned in place. People may not realize until they stretch or really exert themselves, possibly many days later, that there is a serious injury to one of their limbs or extremities.
3. Traumatic brain injuries
When someone has bleeding or inflammation inside the skull, the damage may not be enough to produce obvious symptoms initially. People can go days after suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) before they start to notice issues with memory, sleep disruptions and sensory issues that indicate there may be something wrong with them.
The risk of invisible injuries or conditions with delayed-onset symptoms is one reason why it is advisable for those involved in a motor vehicle collision to seek medical evaluation shortly afterward whenever possible. Understanding the possibility of hard-to-spot injuries – and speaking with an experienced legal professional when they realize that they have suffered physical harm – can help people to better protect themselves from the sometimes-devastating consequences of motor vehicle collisions.