Four Types of Auto Accident Injuries That Don’t Show Up Right Away
All too often, injuries are missed in the initial post-accident evaluation, and can take hours, days, or even longer to show up. If you’ve been in a crash, it’s important to keep an eye out for symptoms of the following injuries:
ConcussionsConcussions are a mild type of traumatic brain injury which occur when the brain bounces against the skull. Some people think that they have to be knocked out for there to be a concussion, but many concussion victims don't lose consciousness. Indeed, symptoms (which may include dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, and mood changes) often do not show up for hours after the initial injury. The good news is, most concussions are not permanent, and you can typically recover within a few days.
WhiplashWhiplash occurs when the neck is jerked rapidly back and forth. This is an extremely common car accident injury which often occurs in rear end accidents, and typically does not show up until several hours or days after the accident. The symptoms of whiplash are often similar to those of a concussion (and the injury sometimes happens concurrently with a concussion), but it primarily involves the neck rather than the head. Pain can occur in the neck, head, or upper back. Minor cases of whiplash can be treated with pain meds and ice, but more serious cases might take months to recover and necessitate physical therapy.
Soft Tissue InjuriesYour body is full of muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and any of these types of soft tissue can be injured in a car accident. Different types of soft tissue injuries include strains, sprains, and contusions. Some soft tissue injuries show up immediately after an accident, but others can take a long time to start hurting. These injuries can happen almost anywhere in the body, and can vary greatly in severity from mild to debilitating. Treatment can also vary depending on your injury, but it's always good to see a doctor.
Psychological TraumaPost-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a less tangible ailment than these other types of injuries, but it is no less real. Sufferers of PTSD may experience flashbacks, mood changes, insomnia, or the inability to go near triggering stimuli. All of these can be severely debilitating and affect your ability to live a normal life. Unfortunately, many sufferers of PTSD do not notice their symptoms until long after an accident. The good news is that, like the other injuries listed here, PTSD is treatable through a variety of therapeutic and medical treatments.
This is only a partial list, and there are many other types of injuries which can take a while to show up after a car accident. Some are even more serious than those listed above. The most important thing to remember is to see a doctor whenever you start noticing symptoms, even if they do not show up until a long time after a car accident!