You likely expect that you would notice any significant injuries right after a car crash. It is rare for people to leave the scene of a wreck without realizing they have broken a bone or suffered a spinal cord injury, for example, but that does happen in some cases.
The warning signs of certain serious injuries from a car crash may not be obvious right away. One of the most dangerous times of traumatic injury won’t be evident at the scene of the collision and may only cause noticeable symptoms hours or even days later.
Learning about how people overlook serious crash injuries can help you better evaluate yourself and your passengers after a collision.
Internal injuries often develop slowly
Safety restraints or seat belts in your vehicle are there to ensure that the force of a collision won’t throw you or your passengers out of the vehicle. Unfortunately, especially when you travel at high speeds, the restraints themselves can be a source of injury.
Safety belts can dig into someone’s abdomen, causing bruising and inflammation. An airbag can also be a secondary source of injury. It inflates to prevent people from striking the steering wheel or windows in a wreck, but it can cause blunt force trauma in addition to protecting people.
You won’t notice right away if you have internal bleeding in your head or abdomen. Only when the bleeding reaches a point that you start noticing swelling or symptoms of blood loss, like dizziness, will you realize that you need medical care.
How do you evaluate yourself for internal bleeding?
Left untreated, internal bleeding in the abdomen or head could cause life-threatening consequences. People can die as their symptoms progress if they don’t receive appropriate medical attention.
The speed of your crash, the motion of your vehicle and what happened to your body during the collision will all play a role in your self-evaluation for internal injuries. The higher the speed at the time of the wreck and the more violent the motion of the vehicle, the greater your risk of internal bleeding or a traumatic brain injury. Getting timely medical care can make a major difference in your chances of recovery after a motor vehicle collision.