The collision occurred while in your car stopped at a traffic light. Another vehicle — driven by a young adult — crashed into the back of your car. Thrust forward in your car seats from the jolt, you and your passenger escaped injury. You are annoyed more than anything else.
After inspecting the damage, taking accident scene photos and exchanging information with the other driver, you depart. However, hours after returning home, you discover that a minor headache emerges. The next morning, the worsening pain represents a definitive sign of a delayed injury symptom. You need prompt medical attention.
Headaches, abdominal pain
Injuries after a motor vehicle accident, sometimes, are not immediately apparent. A hidden injury can come in a variety of forms, potentially leading to lengthy hospital stays and even death.
Here are four warning signs that you may have a hidden injury:
- Headaches: Gradually worsening pain represents the sign of a head injury such as a concussion and traumatic brain injury potentially leading to bleeding on the brain.
- Shoulder, neck pain and numbness: You may have injured the neck joints, discs, ligaments or spine. The loss of feeling in your limbs is another sign of whiplash or something even more severe such as spinal hematoma. The latter injury places pressure on the spinal cord, leading to harmful neurological problems such as muscle weakness, limb paralysis and incontinence.
- Abdominal pain and swelling: Bruising may appear on the torso, representing a sign of internal bleeding. Damage to the heart, lungs, liver and spleen is possible.
- Backaches: Lower back pain may lead to a series of surgeries. This injury often appears after your car has been struck from behind.
You may have sustained an injury and not even realize it. If any of these signs surfaces, pay attention and seek medical help.
Listen to your body
Always listen to your body. Do not ignore the slight discomfort in your stomach or twinge in your lower back hours or days after a motor vehicle collision. They are potential signs of hidden injuries.