Legal Guide

The Dangers of Hidden Injuries After an Accident

With thousands of accidents happening each year, the rates of accident-related injuries have been rising exponentially. In 2020 alone, 2,282,015 traffic injuries and 38,824 fatalities were reported. 

In the wake of an accident, victims may fail to notice some injuries due to the adrenaline rush. Some accident injuries also take time before they manifest, and an ignored minor injury or discomfort could quickly escalate to life-threatening levels.

Hidden injuries do not surface immediately, and could take weeks before the first symptoms show. If these injuries are left untreated, they increase recovery time and medical costs. 

Here are some common hidden injuries to watch out for after an accident. 

Whiplash/Muscle Strains

Whiplash refers to neck injuries resulting from forceful or rapid back-and-forth neck movement during an accident. It could damage soft tissue between your neck and head, leading to painful headaches, neck pain and stiffness, loss of range of motion in the neck, and tenderness. 

These symptoms may not be apparent after an accident as the effects of neck injury may be felt after several weeks or months. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult your physician for the proper treatment and pain management regimen. 

Brain Injuries 

The impact forces during an accident may be strong enough to cause a concussion. Concussions bruise and damage your brain's nerves and blood vessels, resulting in temporary loss of normal brain function. 

Symptoms of concussions include: headaches, dizziness, fatigue, confusion, nausea, ringing ears, and temporary memory loss. Contrary to popular belief, you can suffer a concussion without losing consciousness. Once again, these symptoms may not appear immediately and should be addressed as soon as they are noticed. 

Internal Bleeding 

If not attended to in time, internal bleeding could be life-threatening. Unlike external injuries, which are easy to see and treat, internal bleeding may be a challenging diagnosis. 

Symptoms of internal bleeding include: nausea, shortness of breath, low blood pressure, severe weakness, dizziness, and passing out. In some cases, you may notice dark vomit or stool with blood. Watch out for bruising around your navel or sides of the abdomen, as it could indicate bleeding of internal organs in that region. 

Back and Soft Tissue Injuries 

Back injuries, especially to the spine, could develop slowly after an accident, ultimately leading to long-term back injuries. Swelling and bleeding around the spine could result in pain, numbness, and paralysis. 

Additionally, after an accident, soft tissue damage to your feet, ankles, knees, elbows, and wrists could worsen over time. In fact, if they appear after a long time, you might not associate them with an accident. Watch out for redness, swelling, stiffness, and pain around the mentioned areas. 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

It is no secret that accidents are traumatic events. You may experience intrusive thoughts and distressing dreams after an accident. This could make it difficult for you to ride in a car again or revisit the accident scene. 

Common symptoms of PTSD include: nightmares, anxiety, lack of sleep, vivid flashbacks, and aggressive behavior. These symptoms may not present themselves immediately after an accident and may take some time to manifest. 


Whether you are in pain or not, getting checked out after an accident is crucial. Your doctor might notice early warning signs and respond accordingly. 

Do not ignore even the slightest pain or discomfort after an accident. Seek medical attention immediately after you notice pain. Failure to do so will only worsen injury leading to longer recovery and more financial damages. 

“It is in your best interest to seek the services of a personal injury lawyer in the wake of an accident,” says Arren Waldrep of Price Benowitz Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP. “Speaking to an attorney can help create a roadmap for your recovery and possible compensation packages.”

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