The average motor vehicle collision leaves behind a very obvious path of destruction. Between the damage to the vehicles involved and the visually dramatic injuries people suffer, such as broken bones, there is a lot to focus on and analyze in the immediate aftermath of a crash.
Unfortunately, dramatic injuries aren’t the only ones people suffer. Two of the riskiest potential injuries you may suffer in a motor vehicle crash may not have any obvious sign at the time of the accident. Instead, you may go several days before you realize there is something seriously wrong.
Learning about these invisible injuries and the potential symptoms can help you protect yourself and the people you love after a major motor vehicle collision.
Abdominal injuries can lead to potentially fatal internal bleeding
Your seat belt helps keep you in the vehicle at the time of the crash, which can absolutely save your life. Still, with improper placement or in a crash that involves high speeds, it is possible for your seat belt to create a risk of trauma to your abdomen. The steering wheel and other parts of the vehicle can also pose a risk of blunt force trauma to your midsection during a crash.
There are no bones that protect your abdomen. However, it is home to a large number of your organs that demand substantial blood flow to function properly. Internal injuries to those organs and the tissue that supports them can lead to bleeding and bruising that is not visible but still incredibly dangerous.
Left unchecked, internal bleeding can cause death or may give rise to other secondary issues, such as infection and even anemia. If you hurt your abdomen or experience unexplained dizziness, weakness, tenderness or pain in your midsection in the hours or days after a crash, having a physician examine you for internal bleeding could potentially save your life.
Brain injuries aren’t always obvious at first
Traumatic brain injuries or closed head injuries can produce some of the most dramatic symptoms of any injuries common to car crashes. Brain injuries can affect everything from someone’s speech to their motor function and balance. In some cases, there are no immediate symptoms after a head injury in a crash.
It takes some time for the bruising and internal bleeding associated with the injury to put pressure on different parts of the brain. As that pressure builds, symptoms will develop or worsen. If you notice issues ranging from headaches and nausea to difficulty sleeping or changes in mood and personality, you should seek medical evaluation sooner rather than later.
Although you can’t see either of these injuries, they can be life-altering if not treated promptly. The sooner you secure a diagnosis for an internal injury after a crash, the better your medical prognosis. It’s also important to note that prompt diagnosis will connect the injury and expenses it creates for you and your family with the crash.