What to Expect Physically After a Motor Vehicle Accident
As amazing as the human body is, it can sustain serious damage from the kinds of physical impact typically experienced in vehicle accidents. Even if you are involved in what at first seems like a minor motor vehicle accident, the injuries that result can be serious, leaving you with debilitating pain, months of healing, and outrageous medical expenses that can cause big changes in your life.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a vehicle crash, you should expect some level of injury. But it is also essential to recognize the difference between bruising after the accident and more severe injuries that require emergency medical treatment. This blog post covers some of the more common injuries in vehicle accidents, from slight to severe, and what you can expect in the way of symptoms and recovery needs afterward.
Multiple Ways a Motor Vehicle Accident Can Injure You
Every year in the United States, more than four million people sustain car accident injuries requiring medical attention. Every car accident is different, and the type of injuries one sustains depends on the circumstances of a crash, and the type of collision.
Some collisions are more common than others, including accidents where individuals are:
- Thrown backward or forward in the car
- Ejected from the car
- Thrown against the dashboard
- Jerked sideways against the windshield
- Hit by loose objects or flying debris
These accidents can result in different kinds and levels of injury.
Symptoms You Need to Watch out for After a Car Crash
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is not uncommon for some injuries to be readily apparent, such as broken bones, cuts or lacerations, or severe head pain. Even if you do not have any such noticeable symptoms, however, you aren’t necessarily in the clear. Sometimes, severe and deadly injuries can occur following a car crash, but symptoms of the injuries are delayed for hours or even days following the collision. Vehicle accident victims should always seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident, even if they are not immediately experiencing severe pain or symptoms.
Victims who begin experiencing any of the below symptoms following a vehicle accident should be particularly urgent in seeking medical attention:
- Headaches: If you have been in a car crash, a headache may mean more than you think it does. Frequently, these headaches can be a sign of a concussion, a traumatic brain injury, or even a blood clot. If you have a headache following a vehicle accident, you need to be examined promptly to rule out any severe injuries.
- Abdominal tenderness: If you have pain in the abdominal region, do not ignore it. Pain in this area can be a sign of internal damage or bleeding, requiring immediate medical treatment. In addition to this abdominal tenderness, many people suffering from internal damage or bleeding also experience dizziness, lightheadedness, or notice a purple discoloration. If this bleeding is not timely and adequately treated, it can lead to organ failure, coma, or even death.
- Neck and back pain: When you experience pain in the neck and back area after an accident, it could just mean you sustained some bumps and bruises. However, it can also mean that you suffered ligament damage or a spinal cord injury, both of which clearly present more serious consequences. Left untreated, ligament damage and spinal cord injury may lead to devastating repercussions, like paralysis or loss of function in a limb.
- Body numbness: This symptom should not be ignored as it can indicate a spinal cord injury or a herniated disk. If you experience any numbness in your body, it needs to be examined quickly to avoid the possibility of sustaining more permanent damage from a more serious injury.
- Trouble concentrating: It is normal to experience emotional and mental anguish after a motor vehicle collision. However, if you begin to have trouble sleeping, concentrating, or feeling depressed, you need to see a doctor. These symptoms can signal that you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, concussion, or even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Do Not Wait—Seek Medical Help Immediately
Your health and safety need to be your top priority after a car crash. This means that even if you are not experiencing any symptoms following the accident, you still need to get examined by a medical professional. As mentioned above, particular injuries can take days to manifest. The longer you wait to get medical help, the more serious the repercussions of the injury can become.
Seeking medical care as soon as possible following your crash is not only crucial for your health but is also important in protecting your legal rights. For example, failing to get prompt medical treatment could hurt your prospects in collecting insurance coverage.
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses that try to minimize how much they pay out by finding reasons to deny or minimize claims. When you fail to get prompt medical treatment, an insurance company may point to your failure as evidence to argue that your injuries were not that severe since you did not seek medical assistance, or that you are to blame for the severity of your injuries, as it could have been avoided had you sought immediate medical attention.
Fortunately, when you see your doctor immediately following your collision, they will create a medical report that can identify your injuries and tie them to the motor vehicle accident. This means that the medical report can provide a direct link between your accident and your injuries, which can be used as evidence to push back on insurance companies or the defendant in a lawsuit.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney to Get The Legal Help You Need
Car accident claims are complicated, tedious, and additional stress to victims whose entire lives have often been upended by injuries they sustained in the accident. Successful recovery in these cases requires a thorough understanding of state law and knowing what evidence you need to prove liability and damages. An experienced car accident attorney can help with these things, allowing a victim to focus on their health recovery.