When you are injured in an accident, your body naturally produces endorphins and adrenaline. Unfortunately, these two chemicals can mask symptoms of serious injuries including blocking pain. As the levels of adrenaline and endorphins decrease, you are able to experience fully the pain and symptoms of injuries. Even though you may feel fine after an accident, that does not mean that you have not been injured. It is in your best interest to seek medical attention regardless of how you feel following an accident.
Common Injuries That May Not Be Noticeable Right Away
Below are common injuries that may not be noticeable right away after an accident.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Acute soft tissue injuries occur as the result of a sudden trauma such as a car accident or a slip and fall accident. The most common soft tissues injured in an accident area tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Injuries to these soft tissues including, contusions, strains, and sprains, may heal with time. However, soft tissue injuries can result in substantial swelling, chronic pain, and reduced mobility.
However, these symptoms may not be present immediately after the car accident, slip and fall, or other personal injury. It could be days or weeks before you feel the full impact of a soft tissue injury. This makes it very difficult to diagnose and document soft tissue injuries. It is very important you seek medical attention at the first sign of pain or other symptoms.
A common type of soft tissue injury that occurs in slip and fall accidents and car crashes is whiplash. As with other soft tissue injuries, whiplash may heal given time and rest; however, that is not always the case. Severe cases of whiplash can result in chronic pain and reduced mobility that prevents you from performing everyday tasks and returning to work. If you notice any symptoms of whiplash, seek immediate medical care.
Closed Head Injuries
Because a closed head injury can occur without any outward sign of physical trauma, this type of injury can go unnoticed for days or weeks. A closed head injury occurs when the head strikes an object or the head is violently jerked causing the brain to “bounce” around hitting the skull. Concussions are one of the most common types of closed head injuries. Symptoms can be subtle at first and grow with intensity. If you have any of the following symptoms or these symptoms persist or grow in intensity, see a doctor immediately:
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Problems concentrating
- Memory problems
- Sleep problems
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Clouded thinking
Because a closed head injury can impact several areas of the brain, any unexplained symptoms should not be ignored because it could be a sign of a serious and potentially life-threatening brain injury.
Internal Bleeding and Injuries
You can be thrown around quite violently in a motor vehicle accident. This could result in internal bleeding or damage to the spleen, liver, heart, lungs, kidneys, other organs and tissues. You may not “feel” this type of injury right away. Seeing your doctor as soon as possible and paying close attention to even the slightest unexplained symptom is very important.
Priorities After Being Injured
After being injured in a car accident, slip and fall, pedestrian accident, motorcycle crash, or other type of personal injury accident, your top priority is your health. See a physician as soon as possible if you are not transported to the emergency room from the accident scene. Some minor injuries can become serious and life-threatening if not treated.
Your second priority is protecting your right to receive compensation for your injuries from the party who caused the accident. Do not sign any releases or provide any statements until you have consulted with a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer will protect your interests to ensure that you have the best chance of receiving a full and complete settlement for your injuries, damages, and losses.