You should always see a doctor after a car accident, even if you do not feel like you were injured.
Think about the sheer force involved in a three-ton mass of metal colliding with another object of roughly the same size. Factor into the equation the acceleration with which either or both of those objects are traveling—anywhere between 15 to 85 miles per hour or higher.
All these elements add up to one, massive force that jolts or throws your body, strains your muscles, jostles organs, and bruises tissues.
Cuts and fractures are the easy injuries to spot, and therefore, the ones that get a car accident’s victim attention. But the “invisible” injuries that lie beneath your skin should not be ignored.
We will visit some of these injury types here, explain their significance, and how the untrained eye might not even notice them—until it is too late.
Concussions Resulting from Car Accidents
Your brain has a Jell-O-like consistency. It needs protection. Your skull shelters your brain, and cerebrospinal fluid cushions your brain inside your skull.
But if a significant force or blow strikes your head, it will cause your brain to slam backward and forwards against the inside of your skull. This effect also occurs as the result of a car crash. Even though nothing is physically striking your head, the sudden acceleration/deceleration of the head causes the brain to be injured in the same manner as if struck by a blow.
Your brain function is affected, at least temporarily, by this blow-like impact. Eventually, you may experience bleeding around or in your brain, causing confusion and drowsiness, and sometimes death.
Despite all the dangers concussions present, initial symptoms, when they appear, can be dismissed as unimportant.
Symptoms of a Concussion
- Fuzzy thinking
- Difficulty concentrating
- Blurred vision
- Low energy
- Hard time retaining new information
- Abnormal sleep patterns
Symptoms That Should Send You to the Emergency Room
The following symptoms indicate a serious concussion and require that you seek emergency treatment immediately:
- Slurring or other speech changes
- Disorientation, confusion
- Poor physical coordination (clumsiness, stumbling)
- Irritability and other behavioral changes
- Worsening headache
- Being unconscious for a period greater than 30 seconds
- Repeated vomiting
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Soft-Tissue Injuries Caused by a Car Accident
It is easy to spot a broken bone (it changes your skeletal frame), but strained muscles and damaged ligaments and tendons (your soft tissue) are not visible to the naked eye. Sometimes, they are not even felt until days or even weeks after the impact that caused them.
Even a car traveling at a relatively low speed generates a tremendous force upon colliding with another object. The stopping force on vehicle occupants and their bodies’ being thrown about the car strain multiple, vulnerable soft-tissue parts of their bodies.
Whiplash is one example of a soft-tissue injury that frequently results from car accidents. This injury happens as the result of the head jerking backward then forward with significant force. The soft tissues of neck strain, causing neck pain and stiffness that can become chronic and/or develop other complications.
Despite the reduced mobility, swelling, and pain that soft-tissue injuries present, the damage cannot be seen on an X-ray. This elusiveness, combined with the fact that symptoms do not manifest immediately, create a diagnostic challenge.
Gone untreated, these injuries can worsen, become more painful and harder to treat.
The Importance of Documenting Your Injuries
The injury examples above give you plenty of good, medical reasons why you should see a doctor after a car accident, even if you do not feel injured.
You should also consider the strategic reasons for getting checked out by a physician.
One of the most common reasons that insurance adjusters deny claims is because they do not believe—or they do not think there is enough evidence to prove—that the accident in question caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
So, if you plan to file a claim or lawsuit to recover damages from your car accident, you will need to be able to provide documentation of your injuries. This documentation must be readily associated with the car accident, so it is important that the medical reports reflect a visit that is as close to immediately following your collision as possible. The connection of the injury to the accident is much easier to establish in this case.
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Zanes Law Will Help You Get Compensated for Your Car Accident Injuries
The car accident team at Zanes Law will do everything from A to Z to make sure you can recover the damages you need so you can recover physically and without the financial strain that accompanies a car accident.
Our firm will not charge you unless and until you are compensated, and we offer a no-charge, no-obligation consultation. Call Zanes Law today at 866-499-8989.