Surviving a car accident, even one that you think is relatively mild, may mean that you have injuries that you cannot feel for some time afterward. This is common, but some of the injuries you may suffer are quite serious, even if they are not yet painful.
Far too many accident victims suffer serious long term harm or may even die due to undiagnosed delayed onset injuries. These injuries may not present outwardly visible symptoms while at the scene of the accident, and may not cause pain for hours or even several days, but may grow very serious and potentially life-threatening by the time that a victim does feel them. In some cases, such as mild brain injuries suffered from a blow to the head, the injury may not present symptoms for more than a week after the accident.
If you recently experienced a car accident, you should seek out a professional medical examination immediately, if you have not already done so. Even in cases where a victim does not believe he or she suffered any injuries, a professional medical examination helps catch delayed onset injuries, possibly before they worsen and cause long-term or permanent harm.
An abdominal injury is a “right now” emergency
Many delayed onset injuries may present various threats to your ongoing health and comfort, such as whiplash or injuries to the spinal cord, but an abdominal injury can kill you quite quickly if you do not receive proper medical attention in time. Delayed abdominal pain may indicate two potentially deadly injuries: either internal bleeding or damage to your internal organs.
Internal bleeding is just as serious as external bleeding, if not more so. Just as losing too much blood from an external wound may threaten the life of a victim, losing too much blood internally can prove deadly in a matter of minutes. However, very slight internal bleeding poses the entirely separate threat of infection. The site of the bleeding may easily grow an infection which may then spread throughout the body in the circulation system, infecting every area that receives blood flow, including the brain.
Damage to an internal organ is similarly deadly, if the organ cannot recover and enters organ failure. Damage may not cause pain at first, as the body directs resources to attempt to heal the injury and continue the organ’s function. However, if the organ cannot recover, it may simply shut down. Once an organ fails, the other organs cannot sustain the body and will also fail. Organ failure is a very painful and slow way to die.
Get the help you need
If you suffered a serious injury in your accident, you may have grounds for a personal injury suit to cover your medical expenses and other losses associated with the accident, such as lost income from missed work. Be mindful to build your claim carefully to ensure that you receive the full compensation you deserve, and to keep your rights and priorities secure as you recover.