With an estimated six million car accidents every year in the United States and three million people injured from them, it is wise to know how you may be affected. While some injuries typically show right away, others lead to delayed pain after an injury or don’t show any symptoms for a few days, weeks, or months.
The following are the most common hidden injuries to watch out for after a car crash.
More than two million Americans suffer from whiplash each year, many of whom have whiplash symptoms delayed. Whiplash occurs due to your head moving backward then forward at high speeds. This movement leads to strains and sprains of the neck. It can also tear or stretch the neck’s muscles and tendons.
Some whiplash indications include neck pain that is severe but not sharp, stiff neck, and back pain.
Numbness is another potential injury that may not show up right after a motor vehicle accident. This can happen if your spinal column or neck is injured in the accident. Numbness is not normal. If you experience it following a collision, visit a doctor right away.
In addition to whiplash, a herniated disc is another injury that can affect your back. Look out for back injury from car accident symptoms, like severe pain, loss of muscle control, and loss of feeling. While a herniated disc’s symptoms usually appear right away, they can also take up a few days or weeks to show up. Herniated discs are typically serious, and they can lead to permanent disabilities and require surgery.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Although incredibly serious, it can take some time for traumatic brain injuries to show up. These can include unrecognized concussions. Some of the symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, and headaches. Unfortunately, it is common to assume these are due to stress or other issues. If left untreated, traumatic brain injuries can lead to serious consequences, including permanent handicaps or death. Because of the potential risks, you should always be on the lookout for delayed head injury symptoms.
The design of seatbelts, specifically as they wrap over a single shoulder, means that shoulder injuries are common after a motor vehicle accident. The force of the collision can focus on that shoulder, and the impact may cause some twisting. This can lead to bruises, strains, or tears. As with other car accident injuries, some shoulder injuries appear right away while others are initially not noticeable.
Your knees may also be injured in a car accident without you noticing. While a shattered kneecap from hitting the dashboard is typically apparent, cartilage damage may not be. While some knee injuries will show symptoms immediately, others take time to show up as you are unlikely to notice them until there is more inflammation.
How to Identify the Injuries Early
The best way to identify injuries early is to visit a doctor after a car accident. Opt for an experienced auto accident or workers’ compensation doctors in Brooklyn, as they will know which symptoms to look for. This dramatically increases the chances of spotting and treating an injury early on.
Get Treatment From a Workers’ Compensation Doctor
Ideally, you’ll want to get your treatment from a workers’ compensation doctor. This is partly because of their experience in spotting similar injuries. It is also due to their familiarity with paperwork and paper trails. A workers’ comp doctor will have experience providing documents to show your injuries are from the collision, which will help with any claims you file.
If you were in a car accident, schedule an appointment with Metro Healthcare Partners to spot any hidden injuries early.