Article Reviewed By Jason McMinn, JD
Jason McMinn is a lead personal injury attorney at McMinn Law Firm.
The first thought that comes to mind when you hear that someone was in a car accident is to find out if they were injured. Some accidents are very minor and everyone is fine. However, sometimes you can sustain injuries from a collision that doesn’t look to be that bad.
Certain car accident injuries do not show up right away. Others don’t seem severe at first but can linger or get worse over time.
If you have been in an accident, here are the most common injuries to be on the lookout for.
Obvious Car Accident Injuries
Broken bones and cuts are obvious. You know right away that you are injured and need to go to the hospital.
Airbags are a safety feature and save lives, but they can also cause injury. You can suffer bruising and even chemical burns if the airbag inflates.
When you are aware of your injuries at the scene it is easy to make the decision to seek medical care. The problem comes when you feel fine at the time and choose not to go.
There are many conditions and injuries that don’t show up right away. Let’s take a look at some of those.
Hidden or Delayed Injuries
Because of the impact of the crash and the way the body is sitting, there are some injuries that don’t show up right away. There can also be some emotional trauma resulting from the experience.
You can claim any or all of these with the insurance company for the at-fault party. The key is to have proper documentation. That is why it is so important to go to the hospital after an accident even if you don’t have any obvious problems.
Neck and Back Injuries
Your neck is extremely vulnerable to a quick, jerking motion caused by an accident. While the neck is capable of withstanding a certain amount of movement, it is possible to suffer an injury that can last anywhere from a few days to many years.
Injuries to the back are also very common in car crashes. These can range from a pinched nerve, damaged ligaments, torn muscles, and even ruptured discs. While all back issues are not debilitating, some can cause life-long discomfort and need regular medical care.
It isn’t always easy to know if you have suffered a concussion right away. It is possible to have one and not lose consciousness.
Symptoms of a mild one are nausea, vision problems, and headaches. More severe ones can impair cognitive abilities and result in memory loss or more permanent damage.
If you hit your head during the accident, it is best to get checked for a concussion.
Soft Tissue Damage
Depending on the severity of the accident, there are many areas of the body that can suffer damage.
Soft tissue injuries are the result of strains, pulls, or bruises on muscles, tissues, and nerves that surround and connect the organs within the body.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is not a physical injury and certainly can’t be diagnosed or treated at the scene, but it is a very real condition that many experience after an accident.
The symptoms of PTSD are different for everyone, but they can be severe and long-lasting. It is definitely treatable, and should not be ignored or dismissed.
Your pain and suffering may not fall into the category of PTSD, but that does not mean it is not a significant part of your recovery and should be discussed with any settlement.
What to Do After a Car Crash
Right after you have been involved in a crash, your mind is racing and you are probably scared. It is best to be prepared ahead of time. There are several steps you need to take right after an accident.
First, check on the condition of everyone involved. Next call 9-1-1. They will send the police to make a report and medical personnel to check on any injuries.
If you are able, get all the insurance information from the other parties involved. Even if you were not a driver, you will need this information. Don’t leave it up to anyone else.
Take as many photos as you can of the scene and all cars. If there were road conditions, construction, or other hazards that might have contributed, take pictures of that as well.
Seek medical attention. Even if you don’t have any of the obvious injuries above, you could still have ones that are unknown at the time. Don’t wait as this could aggravate certain conditions.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you were injured in an accident you might be asking if you should hire a personal injury lawyer. The answer is always a YES!
Coping with car accident injuries is painful with the added stress of being out of work or needing proper medical care. There is so much to deal with that you need someone fighting for you.
Your personal injury lawyer will handle the claim and negotiations with the insurance company to get you the best settlement. The insurance agent will take your claim more seriously if you have the right representation.
Car accident attorneys are also experienced with the laws surrounding personal injury claims including pain and suffering and what you need to completely recover even years down the road.
If the case ends up in court, you definitely will want to have legal counsel on your side that is familiar with all the details. Your personal injury lawyer will not request money upfront and only gets paid when a settlement is reached. So you really have nothing to lose.
Don’t Suffer in Silence
There are so many details to take care of after a crash. Car accident injuries may not be obvious or seem like a big deal at the time. However, they often show up later or even get worse.
If you were injured in a car accident, the legal team at McMinn Law Firm are here to help in any way we can. Please reach out today.