Hidden Injuries: Why You Should Always Seek Medical Attention After an Accident

Many injuries are apparent after you have an accident. You can easily feel most sprains, muscle tears, and broken bones, and you can readily see cuts, bruises, and other visual injuries. However, some of the most severe injuries that result from a serious accident can go unseen. You may not even feel them until something catastrophic happens. From brain trauma to internal bleeding, many initial injuries can go undetected (even for days). It’s these hidden injuries that can be some of the most traumatic, resulting in lifelong conditions that are difficult to live with.

That’s why it’s vitally important to see a medical professional if you’ve suffered a severe injury, whether it’s the result of a car accident, a fall at work, or any other type of personal injury you’ve sustained. You may feel that something is off, or you may feel nothing at all. Regardless, always be cautious and seek medical aid if you’ve experienced some type of trauma or fall. If it’s your loved one who’s been involved in an incident, convince them to do the same.

What Types of Injuries are Commonly Unseen

Known as delayed-onset injuries, unseen injuries that result from physical trauma can include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) or concussions: Early symptoms of TBIs and concussions can include headaches, loss of vision, vomiting, enlarged pupils, and loss of memory. These symptoms may be delayed and can take hours or days to manifest. 
  • Bone fractures: Not all bone injuries are painful and immediately apparent. Some fractures can go unnoticed until they worsen over time, leading to more severe injuries and pain. 
  • Herniated discs: A herniated disc occurs when one of the rubbery discs that cushion your spinal segments slips out and can begin to pinch a nerve or cause other issues, like pain. Symptoms can develop and worsen over time and can include back pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness in the legs. 
  • Whiplash: Whiplash is a type of neck injury that occurs when the neck is forcibly snapped back and forth, which is why it’s especially common in car accidents. While not always immediately apparent, this type of injury can worsen over time and lead to greater complications. Its early symptoms include neck pain or stiffness, loss of range of motion, headaches, fatigue, or dizziness. 
  • Internal bleeding: Trauma to the body can cause bleeding inside your body, which is why it’s not always noticeable right away after an injury. Internal bleeding can be dangerous, leading to organ failure or even death. Look out for symptoms of shock, pain, shortness of breath, weakness, or difficulty doing normal daily tasks. There are many symptoms of internal bleeding, depending on what the cause is and where the bleeding is located. See a full list of symptoms here
  • Ruptured organs: Trauma to the torso can also rupture one or more of your organs, which can cause complications that do not arise until days later. Many of the symptoms of this type of trauma are similar to internal bleeding (see above). 
  • Mental or emotional trauma: Not all injuries are physical. Personal injuries can lead to many mental and emotional issues as time passes. These can include PTSD, depression, anxiety, mood or attitude changes, and more. Learn more about these types of injuries here.

Why You Should See a Medical Professional Right Away 

Many of these delayed-onset injuries can be managed and their complications severely mitigated if you seek medical attention right away after an accident. Whether you go to the hospital, an urgent care, or a primary care physician, catching these conditions can save your life or that of your loved one. At the very least, earlier detection can lead to much better health outcomes.

Seeing a medical professional after a catastrophic injury is also the first step you will need to take in order to obtain just compensation for your injuries. If your accident was the result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you can be compensated for: 

  • Present and future healthcare and medical bills 
  • Lost wages 
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Loss of consortium 
  • Disfigurement or scarring 

You will need to have documented medical evidence that you have sustained injuries as a result of the incident. Visiting a doctor after a catastrophic accident can help you: 

  • Document injuries  
  • Preserve medical records as evidence 
  • Establish causation 
  • Protect your legal claim 
  • Mitigate damage to you (which can help you show in court that you proactively tried to prevent further injury)

Find a Personal Injury Attorney Who Can Help You with Your Case 

Documenting your injuries is only the beginning of seeking justice for you and your family. At Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, we help our clients pursue justice and fair compensation for the injuries they have suffered, whether their symptoms are immediate or delayed. We can help you through your case, from obtaining evidence and expert testimony to establishing liability and fault. We’ve worked with victims of personal injuries for decades, helping secure over a billion dollars in verdicts and settlements. You deserve justice. Get in touch with our attorneys today for a free case evaluation.