Checking yourself for injuries is a universal response to a car crash. You might move your arms and legs to make sure that you can get out of the vehicle before you assess other issues, like the state of the vehicle.
While you may be able to spot serious injuries right away, it’s worth noting that you could easily overlook multiple different injuries, some of which could be life-threatening. What kind of car crash injuries might not be obvious right away?
Whether you hit your head on the dashboard and suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or have abdominal bleeding because of safety restraints, the signs of an injury may not pop up until the next day or even later. It is only when the bleeding starts putting intense pressure on your brain or affects your well-being because of how much blood you’ve lost that you realize something is wrong.
Soft tissue injuries like whiplash
The violent force of the crash can cause damage on its own, as can your body’s attempt to resist the momentum of the vehicle moving during the collision. When you suffer soft tissue injuries, the inflammation and pain may not become noticeable until the next day or even several days after the initial trauma.
Broken bones aren’t always obvious. An open fracture where the bone protrudes from the body will be impossible to miss, and the same is true of severe fractures with breaks in multiple places or where the bone will no longer support your weight. However, stable fractures remain in more or less the right position and can sometimes hold weight. You may not notice until hours later or the next time you exercise that you broke a bone.
Knowing what potential injuries you might have suffered and seeing a doctor as soon as possible could help you ensure that you get the treatment and the compensation you need after a major car crash.