Your body's immediate response to a car accident is to flood your brain with adrenaline and cortisol, natural energy and painkillers that can make it hard for you to even realize that you're hurt.
In fact, there are a number of common injuries after a car accident that, while overlooked at the time, can cause serious problems for you in the future:
1. Whiplash is a soft-tissue injury of the neck. Any abrupt stop can cause your head and neck to jerk forward. Restrained by the seat belt, the rest of your body stays stationary while the tender ligaments and tendons in your neck are strained and bruised. You may end up needing immobilization treatment or physical therapy in order to heal, and it can take weeks to recover.
2. Back injuries can also be overlooked. The abrupt stop, the jerk of the seat belt against your sternum, and vertebrae that have weakened due to age and osteoarthritis can lead to slipped discs, compression fractures and pinched nerves anywhere along your spine. Something as simple as a broken tailbone can be quite painful and require a lengthy healing. A pinched nerve caused by a slipped disc could lead to leg pain days later when the swelling fully develops. Some injuries may even require surgery to heal.
3. Internal bleeding is something that can happen without you even noticing. Drivers are especially prone to it, because they may strike the steering wheel with their chests. Look for signs like dizziness, headaches, huge bruises, unusual swelling in the abdomen, headaches and pain that gets increasingly worse with each passing hour.
4. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are some of the most common injuries people suffer in car accidents -- and they come with the widest array of symptoms. A mild TBI could produce fatigue and balance problems or mild confusion, while a more serious TBI could cause chronic headaches, personality changes, mood swings. the inability to concentrate and vision changes.
Whatever your personal injury, if you're having trouble getting fair compensation from the other driver's insurance, consider speaking with an attorney about the possibility of a lawsuit. For more information on how our firm handles the issue, please visit our page.