Most of us experience a car accident of some kind throughout our lives, and if we're very fortunate the vehicles involved are the only things that sustain damage. Sometimes, victims of a car accident think that they were not harmed by the experience, only to realize later on that their bodies received more damage than they realized at first.
The auto industry goes to great lengths to make their vehicles acceptably safe for consumers, but the human body is not naturally able to survive collisions at high speeds without receiving injuries. Many injuries a victim may suffer in an accident do not cause any pain or discomfort immediately, which is why all car accident victims should see their doctor or another medical professional for a full-body examination as soon as possible.
Hidden injuries can cause serious damage and discomfort
Car accident victims may feel perfectly normal after a collision, apart from the surprise of the experience and some soreness. However, they may have one or more delayed-onset injuries, which can be frustrating and painful or even deadly without timely treatment. Delayed onset injuries include:
- Soft-tissue damage, often called whiplash
- Minor brain injuries that may affect a victim's temperament and communication
- Spinal cord injuries that pinch or sever nerves
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
Just because an injury is not immediately obvious does not mean it is harmless. Whiplash, for instance, is often used as an example of a "frivolous" injury. Anyone who has ever experienced serious soft-tissue damage knows that the recovery period is painful, and may leave a victim partially or fully paralyzed because the pain of moving the injured muscles is too great. These injuries can last for weeks and can seriously impact a victim's income.
Organ damage and internal bleeding may not cause any pain at first, but if these injuries do not receive professional treatment quickly, they may threaten the life of the victim. If a victim waits until they feel pain to seek treatment, their recovery may be longer and more painful, or they may not recover at all.
Protect your future and your rights
Even if you don't believe you suffered injuries in your car accident, it is wise to seek a full-body examination from a qualified medical professional. The stakes are too high to hope that you did not suffer injuries that may impact your life for weeks or sometimes even years, or potentially end your life.
Car accident victims who suffer injuries may need to file a personal injury claim if their injuries are the fault of the other driver or some other party. A strong legal strategy and a well-built personal injury claim help ensure that victims receive the care they need while keeping their rights protected throughout their recovery.