It is normal for people to check themselves for injury after a car crash. Most people worry about whether they can move their lower extremities or put weight on their arms and legs. When someone knows that they can safely exit their vehicle and move around, they may reach the incorrect conclusion that they are fine and not have any injuries caused by the collision.
However, many people often have internal injuries that are not immediately visible or recognizable. For some, injuries do not manifest for days or even weeks after the injury.
Types of invisible injuries
There are a handful of injuries that people involved in car wrecks may not notice right away, in part because your body’s chemical reaction to the trauma often covers up pain and other symptoms.
If you have a stable fracture, you likely could still use your arm or leg with a broken bone until the edges of the bone come out of alignment and cause pain. If you have a soft tissue injury, you might feel fine when you go to bed at night, but then wake up in agonizing pain in the morning hours. Broken bones and soft tissue injuries can mean weeks off of work and major medical costs, but they pale in comparison to internal bleeding.
Blunt force trauma to your body can cause internal bleeding in your abdominal cavity or chest, which can affect your heart and lungs. Internal bleeding can cause multiple different negative medical consequences. It can put pressure on your organs and prevent them from functioning optimally. You could also suffer the potentially life-threatening consequences of blood loss.
Some people don’t realize they have an internal injury until they reach a point where they start feeling dizzy or weak. By that point, they may have a real uphill battle toward their full medical recovery.
A doctor can identify signs of internal bleeding
The risk of internal abdominal bleeding is one of the most compelling reasons to see a doctor after a car crash. Although your seat belt and airbags may have saved you from extreme blunt force trauma or ejection from the vehicle, they may have caused other injuries.