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6 Car Accident Injuries You May Not Immediately Notice


Certain car accident injuries, such as cuts and compound fractures, are immediately apparent. Other injuries may not manifest for hours or even days after the incident. Some latent injuries can be life threatening if left untreated. Prompt medical attention may reduce the chances of short- or long-term pain and debilitation.

Below are six common car accident injuries that you may not immediately notice but which require prompt professional attention.

1. Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of brain injury in Ontario. You needn’t lose consciousness or suffer a visible head wound in order to incur brain injury. Symptoms include:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • fatigue
  • changes in personality
  • changes in sleeping or eating habits
  • trouble remembering the events leading up to the accident or just after the crash
  • sensitivity to visual and audio stimulus

A medical professional should evaluate an accident victim to rule out traumatic brain injury and/or make a diagnosis as to the severity of damage.

2. Whiplash

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The Mayo Clinic states most cases of whiplash become apparent within 24 hours of the accident. Signs of this neck injury include:

  • pain and/or stiffness in the neck
  • dizziness
  • feeling tired or run down
  • problems with vision
  • headaches (especially at the base of the skull)
  • trouble sleeping

Whiplash is most commonly experienced in rear-end collisions.

3. Internal Bleeding

The blunt trauma of a car accident may cause internal injuries and bleeding. One example is lacerations to the liver, spleen or other organs as a result of abdominal trauma. Symptoms may take hours to manifest and include:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • dizziness
  • purple skin
  • headache
  • fainting

Emergency surgery may be necessary to stop bleeding and repair damaged organs.

4. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

An accident victim may brush aside feelings of anxiety and depression as simply being “shaken up” after a crash. However, a victim may experience symptoms of debilitating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Signs of PTSD include:

  • flashbacks
  • night terrors
  • intrusive thoughts
  • avoiding activities associated with the accident (e.g., refusing to travel by automobile)
  • changes in personality
  • changes in sleeping or eating habits

PTSD can interfere with a victim’s ability to work or socialize. Victims should consider undergoing psychological screening to determine an appropriate course of treatment.

5. Herniated Disc

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A herniated or ruptured spinal cord disc can result in debilitating pain. In many cases, the pain does not appear until several days after the accident. Such an injury can cause pain and tingling in the buttocks or legs and even down to the feet.

6. Fractures

Hairline fractures – also called “stress fractures” – can go unnoticed after a car accident. An X-ray may be necessary to detect such injuries. Left untreated, even a minor fracture can result in long-term pain.

Are you concerned about how you will pay your medical expenses after a car accident? Call 1-800-JUSTICE® to schedule a free case evaluation with the Preszler Injury Lawyers.

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