When you or a loved one are injured in an auto accident in Seattle or King County, some of your injuries may be immediately noticeable. You may go to the emergency room to be treated for a broken arm or a bad cut on your forehead. But, if you feel nothing but some bumps and bruises, you might decide to head home after the crash.
Unfortunately, going home after a car crash without seeing a doctor right away can allow hidden injuries to get worse. You are not to blame for thinking you are fine and going home. But you should be aware that symptoms of an injury can present themselves hours, days, or weeks later.
If you or your relative start to notice signs that something is wrong, physically or mentally, do not hesitate to see a doctor. Even if it has been days or weeks since the collision, you should not hesitate to obtain medical care and begin to document any accident-related injuries.
Our Seattle car accident attorneys at Menzer Law have handled many cases in which hidden injuries take time to appear after a car accident. Insurers often try to deny claims or severely limit payouts for injuries that were not immediately noticeable. Matt Menzer and his team are here to fight for your full and fair compensation.
Contact Menzer Law through our online form or call (206) 903-1818. We offer free consultations and accept personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. You do not owe us any legal fees unless we win your case.
Common Hidden Injuries After a Car Accident
You might not think much of the pain and stiffness in your neck after an accident. You might take some over-the-counter painkiller and try and power through the headache. But if you are experiencing neck pain, tenderness, stiffness, limited range of motion, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, or tingling or numbness in your arms in the days following the crash, you should go see a doctor. You may be suffering from whiplash.
Whiplash may heal with time, rest, and OTC pain treatments. However, depending on the severity of the injury, you may need additional medical care, such as prescription painkillers or physical therapy and rehabilitation.
It’s common to hit your head in a car accident. You may strike your head on the driver or passenger door window. You might knock your head back against the headrest when the airbag deploys. If the airbag fails to deploy or there isn’t one for your seat, you may hit the steering wheel or dashboard. Something loose in the car may collide with your head.
It’s common for car accident victims not to notice subtle symptoms immediately, but a jolt or blow to the head can cause a concussion or traumatic brain injury. Be on the lookout for headaches, vomiting and nausea, fatigue, trouble sleeping or sleeping more than usual, dizziness, sensitivity to light or sounds, concentration problems, or unusual mood swings, anxiety, depression, or other personality changes. If you notice symptoms of a concussion or TBI, seek medical attention right away.
Herniated discs occur when the soft, middle portion of your disc is squeezed out of an opening in the hard, outer ring of the disc. Herniated discs are very common, and many people experience them without immediate symptoms. However, these injuries can slowly cause severe harm over time if they compress a nerve.
A herniated disc in the neck or back can press on a nerve, causing damage over the hours, days, or weeks that it goes uncorrected. You may start to feel muscle weakness in one or both arms or legs. You might feel pain, numbness, tingling, or a burning sensation. You may start to lack feeling or mobility.
Herniated discs in the lower back also can lead to a more serious condition called cauda equina syndrome. When one or more herniated discs press on the bundle of nerves extending from your lower spine, the damage can disrupt your sensation and motor function in your legs, bladder, and bowels.
If you are experiencing muscle weakness, pain, or numbness in your legs or saddle region, or incontinence or urinary retention, go to the emergency room. The most serious cases of cauda equina syndrome can result in paralysis, loss of bladder and bowel control, sexual dysfunction, and other injuries. This condition and other serious herniated disc conditions require surgery.
Internal bleeding that results from trauma is often apparent but not always. If you suffer internal organ damage in a car crash but are unaware of it, you may go straight home or leave the hospital without realizing you are in danger.
Some causes of internal bleeding include injuries and damage to your heart, lungs, liver, or spleen. Your large blood vessels also can be damaged in a collision. You also can experience bleeding in the brain if you suffered head trauma in the accident.
Common symptoms of internal bleeding include continuing or worsening abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, a large area of purple-colored skin, swelling or pain in a leg, headaches, dizziness, fainting, or seizures. If you notice these signs in the hours or days after the accident, you should go to the emergency room.
It’s all too easy to focus on your physical symptoms and injuries after a car crash. But it is just as important to consider your mental and emotional well-being. A traumatic event can impact you in unforeseen ways. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an all-too-common hidden injury.
You also could develop depression, anxiety, or phobia in connection with your physical personal injuries. If in the days and weeks after a crash, you notice your mood, personality, and feelings are not returning to normal, please talk with a doctor.
Call a Washington Personal Injury Lawyer for Help Today
Whether you were treated for all of your car accident injuries right away, or an injury presented itself later, Menzer Law is here to help. To obtain sound legal advice from an experienced injury lawyer, all you have to do is call (206) 903-1818 or use our online form.