Hidden injuries occur when you don’t feel any pain or symptoms after a crash. These injuries can take several hours, days, and even weeks to produce symptoms. But they can range from inconvenient to potentially life-threatening if not addressed early on.
Some common hidden injuries after a car accident include:
- Whiplash: This injury typically happens in rear-end collisions when the head and neck rapidly move back and forth. It places strain on the soft tissue in the neck and can lead to neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and loss of range of motion.
- Concussion: A concussion occurs due to violent shaking or a blow to the head. It often results in loss of memory, cognitive issues, headaches, sleep disruption, and mood changes.
- Soft tissue injuries: These injuries affect the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. While you might not feel any symptoms right away, swelling, bruising, and loss of range of motion may occur.
- Internal injuries: These injuries are particularly dangerous because they affect the internal organs. This can also include internal bleeding.
The "Golden Hour" for a traumatic car accident injury is the critical time frame during which swift medical attention can significantly impact your chances of survival and recovery. During this period, immediate medical intervention can prevent complications, reduce the risk of long-term disability, and increase the likelihood of a positive outcome.
Not seeking medical treatment after a car accident can lead to serious health complications. In extreme cases, it can lead to death. Many injuries, especially internal injuries or traumatic brain injuries, may not exhibit immediate symptoms but can worsen over time. Delaying treatment can allow these injuries to progress unchecked.