If you’re driving along a Texas highway and another driver hits you, you might spend the next several hours or days in a hospital. In some cases, the severity of an injury is immediately apparent. For instance, if first responders arrive at the scene and you’re unconscious or bleeding profusely, they know you are severely injured. There are many types of injuries, however, that may go unseen at first, or they may even be overlooked during a preliminary medical examination at the site of the accident.
This is why it’s imperative that you closely monitor your condition in the days and weeks that follow a motor vehicle collision. Even if you’ve already been to an emergency room for a post-accident medical examination, if you still don’t feel well several days later or new symptoms develop, you shouldn’t hesitate to return to the hospital or report your condition to your primary care physician.
You can have a broken bone and not know it
Many types of fractures and bone breaks can occur from blunt force trauma upon sudden impact in a motor vehicle collision. You might remember the sound of screeching brakes or the clash of metal on metal when a driver rear-ended you. The force of the crash can easily break a bone. However, you might not know you have a broken bone right away, especially if there is swelling near the site.
Your brain has a way of trying to numb the pain when you have suffered an injury. If you have a broken bone, but there’s a lot of inflammation or swelling, you might feel more numbness than searing pain. You might notice a bruise and think that’s all it is when, in fact, the bruise might be a symptom of a bone break.
Just because you can stand doesn’t mean you don’t have a back injury
Spinal injuries often cause permanent disability. Perhaps you were able to extricate yourself from your vehicle after another driver hit you. Because you could stand and move around, you might assume you do not have a back injury. You might also be incorrect in your assumption. Even a minor back injury can have serious consequences.
It’s important to know how to recognize signs of possible spinal cord injury after a car accident. Such symptoms would include any tingling or numbness in an extremity. Back, neck, or upper-body pain or discomfort are also issues that you’ll want to report to your physician right away, making sure that he or she knows you were involved in a collision.
Are you bleeding internally?
Internal bleeding is another type of injury that can occur from blunt force trauma in a motor vehicle collision. It is an injury that requires immediate medical attention because it can quickly progress to a life-threatening situation. If your belly looks distended or bruised, or you feel burning or tingling in your abdomen, you should seek medical attention right away.
Internal bleeding can also cause you to experience a sudden headache or lose balance, coordination or vision focus. Also, if you feel weak on one side of your body, this could be evidence of an underlying problem such as internal hemorrhage.
Recovery from hidden injuries may be long and arduous
If a doctor diagnoses you with a traumatic brain injury, broken bones, a spinal cord injury or internal bleeding, you’ll likely need weeks, if not months, of medical care and additional daily life support. Emergency room care, physical therapy, prescription drugs and more can spark serious financial distress that you might not be prepared to meet. This is why Texas law allows accident victims to seek financial recovery for their civil court losses when there’s evidence that driver negligence caused the damages associated with a specific collision.