Car crashes are traumatic events that can result in immediate injuries, but what many people may not realize is that some injuries show up days or even weeks after the accident. These delayed injuries often catch individuals by surprise.
While some injuries are apparent at the scene of the accident, others take time to reveal themselves. Adrenaline, shock and the body’s natural response to trauma can mask symptoms initially.
One of the most frequent delayed injuries is whiplash. This occurs when the head is suddenly jerked forward and then backward, straining the neck’s muscles and ligaments. Symptoms may include neck pain, stiffness and headaches, and they often arise a day or two after the accident.
Soft tissue injuries
Soft tissue injuries, such as bruises, sprains or strains, are also prone to delayed onset. The force of a collision can cause damage beneath the skin’s surface, and it may take time for the pain and swelling to become noticeable. These injuries can affect muscles, tendons and ligaments, impacting mobility and causing discomfort.
Concussions are another type of injury that may not present immediate symptoms. The brain’s impact against the skull during a crash can result in a concussion, which may lead to headaches, dizziness and cognitive issues. An individual should monitor for these symptoms in the days following a car accident.
Internal injuries, such as bleeding or organ damage, may not show immediate signs. Abdominal pain, swelling or dizziness could indicate a more severe issue that requires prompt medical attention. These symptoms might appear well after the accident, emphasizing the need for thorough post-collision medical examinations.
With deaths due to motor vehicle traffic reaching 45,404 in 2021 in the United States, paying attention to anything that feels wrong after a crash is important. Delayed injuries can be serious, and early detection and treatment are important for a full recovery.