Once you recover from the shock of impact, checking yourself for injuries will probably be the first thing you do after a car crash. Once you have assessed yourself, you will likely then turn to check the other people in your vehicle. Many drivers also get out to check the person in the other car, even if that person caused the crash.
Assessing everyone for obvious, possibly life-threatening injuries after a crash is important so that you can seek emergency medical care if necessary. If no one seems to be in dire need of medical care, you might move on to assessing the vehicle and bypass going to a doctor’s office or hospital after the crash.
You could easily miss serious, possibly deadly injuries at the scene of a crash. What are some of the most commonly overlooked injuries people can suffer in a collision?
Internal bleeding in the torso won’t have symptoms right away
Many traumatic injuries are visibly obvious because of contorted body parts, rapid bruising or bleeding. Sometimes, extreme trauma occurs inside the body without breaking the skin.
Blunt-force trauma to the chest, sides or stomach during a crash, possibly because of restraint, might cause bleeding inside the abdominal cavity. Internal bleeding, if left unchecked, could lead to someone losing consciousness and dying.
There usually aren’t immediate symptoms until the blood loss starts to reach a dangerous point. A medical evaluation can often identify those at risk of internal bleeding and prevents bad outcomes.
Brain injuries can take days to show symptoms
When someone suffers a traumatic blow to the head, gets shaken up in a crash or loses consciousness, they have higher risk than others for possibly having a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Like other forms of internal bleeding, brain injuries can also get worse over time if not quickly diagnosed and treated. Medical professionals can evaluate someone and rule out the risk of brain injuries post-collision.
People don’t always notice broken bones right away
Many broken bones wind up out of place after the fracture occurs. People can see there is something wrong and can’t put any weight on the affected body part or limb. Not all broken bones move immediately.
Some people experience stable fractures and it may only be after a while that pain and inflammation make it clear that they have a broken bone.
For many people dealing with the aftermath of a car crash, the best option is to go see a doctor right away just to rule out the possibility of any of these initially invisible injuries.