After a car crash or other motor vehicle accident, those involved might sustain injuries. While immediate injuries usually appear first and seem more prominent, it is important to also monitor for any delayed symptoms and injuries.
If not addressed, the following types of delayed injuries may require additional medical care and can lead to long-term complications.
1. Head and spine injuries
Symptoms of head and spine injuries may not appear until hours or days after the accident. Whiplash from a car accident is often a common cause of central nervous system damage. Serious head injuries may cause traumatic brain injury (TBI), leading to complications such as mood disorders, memory loss and cognitive impairment. Symptoms of a head injury include dizziness, confusion, headaches and loss of consciousness.
Spine injuries may affect the neck and back. Symptoms of back injuries include numbness, pain, limited range of motion or tingling in the limbs or back.
2. Internal damage
Internal injuries are another common delayed injury, as the symptoms may not appear immediately. Fractured ribs, organ damage and internal bleeding are all internal injuries. Symptoms may include tenderness or pain, dizziness, shortness of breath or fainting.
3. Psychological harm
Car accidents can cause mental trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression or anxiety. Symptoms one might experience include flashbacks, mood swings, nightmares or avoidance behaviors. Without the proper help, these psychological injuries can have long-lasting effects on a person’s mental health and well-being.
After a motor vehicle accident, monitoring for physical and mental delayed injuries and seeking immediate medical attention if symptoms occur is vital.