Checking yourself and others for signs of injury after a car crash is a smart decision. You should, at least, cursorily determine whether or not anyone requires emergency medical assistance. Unfortunately, that brief review you’ve performed on yourself and your passengers might give you a false sense of confidence about the state of things.
There are numerous, relatively serious, medical conditions that you could have after a crash without realizing it right away. Those involved in high-speed collisions or crashes that cause massive damage to a vehicle may require medical evaluation to rule out the possibility of severe injury and connect them with treatment.
What kinds of injuries would be easy for you to overlook right after a car crash?
1. A traumatic brain injury
Even if you have a moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI), you may not notice it immediately. It can take some time for the bleeding or swelling of the brain to reach a point where it produces noticeable symptoms.
You could go several days before they realize that you may have a TBI. By that point, your symptoms may have gotten worse, and your injury could be harder to treat.
2. A broken bone
Some fractures are very obvious right at the scene of the crash. A compound fracture where the bone pushes through the skin is dramatic and a very serious medical concern.
Many fractures are quite painful and prevent you from using the affected body part. However, a stable fracture might not cause any immediate symptoms until intense motions or possibly heavy lifting changes the alignment of the fracture. At that point, you may experience intense pain that limits your use of the affected body part.
3. An incomplete spinal cord injury
When an injury to your back damages your spinal cord but does not sever it, you may not realize what caused your symptoms.
An incomplete spinal cord injury may cause pain, weakness and other symptoms that don’t align with the total paralysis people think of when they think of spinal cord injuries. Unfortunately, an incomplete spinal cord injury could end up severely worsened if you do not receive the stabilization and treatment required to prevent the injury from becoming a complete one.
Drivers who have pain or who may have sustained a head injury benefit from undergoing a medical evaluation. Having the right information about your risks after a motor vehicle collision can help you take the necessary steps to protect yourself.