Your car doesn’t have to be totaled for you to suffer injuries after a crash. Damage to your car does not equal potential harm to your physical and mental well-being. Even a low-impact fender bender creates painful injuries.
Here is a list of non-surgical accident injuries with severe and even life-threatening complications if undiagnosed and untreated.
Whiplash is commonly associated with rear-end collisions. The forceful impact from behind causes the neck to snap back and forth.
According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash can damage the spine, discs, ligaments, muscles, and nerves. Because whiplash primarily involves soft tissue, it doesn’t show up on an X-ray. The most common symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Headaches that start at the base of the skull
- Inability to turn or move the neck without worsened pain
- Pain, tingling, or tenderness in the upper back, shoulder, or arms
- Blurred vision
- Memory problems and difficulty concentrating
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
Some car accident victims recover from whiplash within several weeks. Others suffer chronic pain, reduced mobility, and pain that spreads to the shoulders and arms for years. Chronic pain may cause depression, irritability, sleep and appetite disturbances, and a diminished quality of life.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. Concussions are caused by a blow to the head and violent shaking of the head and upper body. Any head injury disrupts regular brain activity and function.
Some people lose consciousness with a concussion, but many do not. There might be a large bump on the head or hardly any swelling.
Many people don’t realize that they suffered a concussion until one or more of the following symptoms appear:
- Ringing in the ears
- Blurred vision
- Pupils that remain dilated or uneven pupils
- Amnesia about the event that caused the concussion
- Slurred speech
- Unable to follow a conversation or delayed response to questions
Concussions may cause bleeding and swelling in the brain. Brain bleeds are a life-threatening condition that may require emergency surgery. Approximately 50,000 Americans die each year from brain injuries.
Brain injuries may cause permanent physical or cognitive impairment. Non-fatal but persistent post-concussive symptoms can linger for months and years. Victims suffer from headaches, vertigo, and dizziness. They might need to limit their activities.
Car accidents create stress and anxiety, which may cause stomach pain. But some stomach pain indicates more serious injury.
A ruptured spleen can cause stomach pain after a car accident. Located under your rib cage on your left side, the spleen is vulnerable to tears by a forceful blow to your abdomen.
Without emergency care, ruptured spleens may cause life-threatening bleeding into your abdominal cavity.
Symptoms of a Ruptured Spleen
The most common symptoms of a damaged or ruptured spleen include:
- Pain and tenderness in the upper left abdomen
- Pain in the left shoulder
- Feeling lightheaded
The biggest threat from a ruptured spleen is internal bleeding, a fatal condition if untreated. Victims usually need emergency surgery.
The spleen filters your blood and helps your body fight infections. You can live without a spleen, but you have a significantly higher risk of illness and poor health.
Swelling, Bruising & Pain
Any swelling, bruising, or pain could indicate a fractured bone. Fractures are partial or complete breaks in a bone.
Symptoms of a Fracture
The shock and adrenaline from a car accident can mask the pain of a bone fracture. The most common symptoms of a fractured bone include:
- Sudden pain, or pain that worsens
- Bruising, redness, and warmth
- Unable to bear weight or move the injured area
- Visible change or deformity
Doctors treat fractures with a cast, splint, traction, pain medication, or a combination. Fractures take a long time to heal and may cause swelling or bleeding in nearby muscles. A complete fracture or break may break blood vessels, causing a potentially lethal blood clot.
Always Get Prompt Medical Care
Non-surgical injuries can become major medical conditions and even a life-or-death situation if untreated. Always get medical care after any car accident, no matter how “minor” it seems. Only a licensed medical practitioner can tell you if you have any hidden injuries and put you on an appropriate treatment plan.
Prompt medical treatment also helps you document your injuries. You will need proof of your injuries to hold the at-fault party responsible for your medical bills, lost pay, and other losses. Going to the doctor after the crash helps establish the validity of your injuries when it’s time to pursue compensation.
Talk to a Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney
If you were injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. An experienced Las Vegas car accident attorney at Oronoz & Ericsson helps you recover damages from the liable party.