The Long Term Effects of Untreated Injuries
After a car accident, any driver's first instinct is to call 9-1-1. When emergency personnel arrives, they will attend to anyone who was involved in the crash to determine the extent of your injuries. Even if you can safely walk away from the accident, getting medical attention is important.
Why Accident Injuries May Be OverlookedAs cars become safer, it's easy to think that because a person can walk away from the crash scene, they're not injured. However, many car accident injuries cannot be seen with the naked eye. Brain trauma, concussion, internal injuries, and whiplash are just a few injuries that may not be immediately noticed after a wreck. Adrenaline, fear, and even anger can inhibit some clear signs of injury.
If you decline medical treatment, the long-term effects of untreated accident injuries could change your life.
Effects of Untreated Brain TraumaBrain injuries may range from mild to severe; a mild brain injury may be a concussion. According to the Mayo Clinic, the signs of a concussion may not show up immediately and can last for several days or weeks. Concussions and other mild traumatic brain injuries may heal within a few weeks.
When a traumatic brain injury goes untreated, it can cause further, more severe problems, including, physical impairment, mood changes, irritability, dizziness or lightheadedness, loss of vision or hearing, difficulty concentrating or remembering things, depression.
No one purposely leaves a brain injury untreated, but the symptoms associated with it may be ignored or misdiagnosed.
Consequences of Untreated WhiplashWhiplash is a soft tissue injury that occurs when your head suddenly moves forward and then back. The soft tissues around the neck become injured in the process, which can cause neck pain, stiffness, tightness around the shoulders, and many other symptoms.
Similar to a concussion, a whiplash injury may heal over time. However, getting treatment can help make the recovery process smoother. Failing to get treatment for whiplash can lead to chronic pain or headaches, which may be traced back to damaged joints, discs, or ligaments in the neck. The recovery time without treatment is also much longer, with some people experiencing symptoms for several months after an accident.
Results of Untreated Back InjuriesBack pain after a car crash is common, but it's important to find the underlying cause of the pain. A soft tissue injury, herniated disc, bulging disc, and other spinal injuries can only be diagnosed by seeing a professional and completing imaging tests, such as an x-ray or MRI.
Failing to get a diagnosis means that you will not get the right treatment for those injuries. Back injuries can impede daily living and have emotional effects, such as sleep troubles or depression caused by chronic pain.
Another troubling injury many people fail to get treated after an auto accident is mental trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression can all arise after a crash, and even as a result of the injuries sustained. Seeking professional help if you're experiencing any symptoms of a mental condition can help ensure a quicker recovery.
If you put off seeking treatment of medical care after an accident, recovery can be much more difficult and time-consuming.