Depending on countless factors, a motor vehicle collision can result in injuries ranging from tissue strains to amputation. Serious, high-speed crashes can lead to devastating conditions that can worsen over time. It is not uncommon for many injuries to remain hidden as certain symptoms only become apparent in the days or weeks following a wreck.
Factors such as the speed of the vehicles involved, the position of the occupants within the vehicle and the angle at which the collision occurred can all impact the crash’s severity. Taking all these factors into consideration, there are still certain injuries that could remain hidden. There are signs, however, that an injury could be hidden after a serious crash, including:
- Neck and back pain: Some people might attribute it to general pain after the collision, but neck and back pain could indicate a more serious condition. Whiplash or a cervical sprain primarily presents with these types of pain plus fatigue and persistent headaches.
- Personality changes: Many people assume a traumatic brain injury (TBI) will always have visible damage. From bruises, swelling and lacerations, the outward appearance of some TBIs is obvious. Unfortunately, some TBIs result in only functional damage. This functional damage could include mood swings, personality changes, cognitive impairment and memory challenges. In the days and weeks following a car crash, the victim should voice any type of cognitive changes to a trusted medical professional immediately.
- Numbness in the extremities: Individuals might ignore certain signs of injury or a worsening condition after a vehicle collision. A pinched nerve, soft tissue damage or spinal cord trauma could all lead to numbness in the extremities or limited movement capabilities. These symptoms could indicate a more severe underlying condition the victim must discuss with a physician.
No matter the perceived severity of a motor vehicle collision, it is wise to seek the guidance of an experienced medical professional. Even with seemingly minor injuries, a physician can perform numerous tests to ensure a thorough diagnosis and the correct course of treatment. Further, any time a new symptom appears, the victim must alert the doctor so they can adjust the treatment and warn the patient of a potentially worsening condition.