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It’s a fact that many injuries resulting from traffic accidents are not necessarily apparent at the scene of the accident. Common injuries such as whiplash or spine injuries can take days and sometimes weeks to fully manifest themselves. Also, when you are in an accident, your body secretes adrenalin which makes your heart beat very fast and also prevents you from feeling pain.
Finally, the injuries to muscles and tendons don’t become painful for days and sometimes longer. As a result, many times, individuals involved in an accident will tell the police, EMT personnel and the other driver that they are uninjured –because they don’t “feel” injured. They simply don’t yet realize the extent of their injuries.
The possibility and risk of hidden injuries after an accident is why it’s so important to seek medical attention, even if you don’t think you’ve been injured. Just as important, consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to help you navigate the sometimes tricky business of negotiating with the other party’s insurance company.
Types and risk of hidden injuries after an accident:
1. Whiplash/Muscle Strains
Whiplash is the name given to an array of neck injuries that result from the head being violently jerked back and forth, as almost always happens when a car collides with another. Whiplash and muscle strain injuries usually aren’t immediately apparent; they take anywhere from a few hours to a week to become painful headaches, and shooting pains in one’s arms and back.
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury in which the brain is rapidly accelerated and then decelerated inside the skull. In a traffic accident, this can easily happen with a whiplash injury, as described above, or if you hit your head on the steering wheel, or during impact with the air bag, and/or if you hit your head against the side window or windshield.
A concussion can result in memory loss, headaches, mood swings and depression. Like whiplash, the symptoms of a concussion may not appear until days or weeks after the accident.
3. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Traffic accidents can be traumatic. In those few seconds before the impact, you may fear for your life. At the very least, you don’t know whether you or your passengers will sustain injuries. That can have a lasting impact on your mental health. You may find after a few days that you are afraid to even ride in a car again, or can’t bear to revisit the scene of the accident.
You may even become depressed and unable to concentrate at work. All of these problems are symptoms of PTSD and may not present themselves until days, weeks or even months after the accident.
If you or someone you care about has been injured in an auto, truck or motorcycle accident, we’re here to help. Contact the Deuterman Law Group for a free consultation today.