Motorists or passengers who are involved in a traffic accident in Pennsylvania sometimes seem to have escaped the crash unharmed only to develop injuries days, weeks or even months later. Emergency medical personnel are skilled at spotting injuries that may not be readily apparent, but the equipment that they carry into the field is unable to detect certain types of internal trauma or soft tissue injuries.
It is common for car accident victims to suffer headaches in the days following a crash. Headaches should be taken seriously as they can be symptomatic of a blood clot or a neck or head injury. Whiplash injuries are common in auto accidents, and they are difficult for paramedics without MRI or X-ray equipment to identify at accident scenes. The neck and back take the brunt of a rear-end collision, and back soreness and stiffness sometimes develop days after an accident has occurred. Numbness in the hands or arms is another indication of possible neck or back damage.
Internal bleeding can sometimes go unnoticed for days after a traffic accident, and it is often discovered when accident victims complain of abdominal bleeding or swelling. Brain injuries are particularly challenging for EMTs at car crash scenes. The brain feels no pain, and traumatic brain injuries are sometimes only revealed days later as accident victims begin to act differently or have trouble thinking or remembering basic facts. PTSD is also common among serious auto accident survivors.
Experienced personal injury attorneys will likely be aware that the injuries suffered by auto accident victims may not always be immediately clear. They may suggest that accident victims undergo medical tests even if they appear unhurt as soft tissue and brain injuries could become more serious if left untreated. Legal counsel may wish to consult with physicians before filing a lawsuit stemming from an auto accident in order to ensure that damages are sought for all injuries resulting from the crash.