What Types of Injuries Can Appear Later After an Accident?

Personal injury accidents like car crashes or motorcycle collisions often result in bodily injury. While some damages are obvious, like broken bones or open wounds, others are hidden and may not appear until hours, days, or weeks after the incident.

Without proper medical care, these undiagnosed injuries can worsen, leaving you with long-term disabilities and high medical bills. For instance, head trauma can lead to chronic headaches and cognitive impairments if not properly diagnosed and treated.

Understanding common delayed injuries and the importance of immediate medical treatment can protect your well-being after an accident. Our Missouri car accident lawyers at Cofman Townsley can also use your medical records to help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. 

The Importance of Seeing a Doctor

Seeing a doctor immediately after an accident is the most important step you can take. Often, victims of personal injury avoid medical consultations, believing they’re okay or that their injuries are minor. Attempting to heal without professional advice can affect both your health and your legal rights in a personal injury claim, leading to:

  • Risk of undiagnosed or hidden injuries worsening over time
  • Delay in receiving appropriate treatment and rehabilitation
  • Decreased ability to document injuries for legal purposes
  • Difficulty in proving the extent of injuries to insurance companies
  • Potential loss of compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering

Always seek medical care immediately after the accident and follow through with all subsequent appointments or suggested treatments. This ensures prompt diagnosis and treatment and provides documentation linking your injuries to the accident for legal claims.

Types of Delayed Injuries: Understanding the Unseen

Delayed injuries can be deceptive, initially presenting as minor or non-existent, only to manifest symptoms days or even weeks later. The following are common hidden injuries in a collision and potential signs to look for.

InjuryDescriptionTime to ShowSymptoms
ConcussionsA brain injury caused by blunt force to the head or damage to internal brain structures can be minor or severe, resulting in a traumatic brain injury (TBI).Hours to daysHeadaches, confusion, dizziness, memory loss
WhiplashNeck injury due to rapid back-and-forth movement, often in car accidentsHours to daysNeck pain, stiffness, headaches, dizziness
Soft Tissue InjuriesDamage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons throughout the bodyHours to daysPain, swelling, bruising, loss of function
Internal BleedingPotentially life-threatening bleeding inside the body that’s not visibleHours to daysAbdominal pain, weakness, dizziness, pale skin
Spine/Disc InjuriesDamage to the spinal column or discs, potentially affecting nerve functionDays to weeksBack pain, numbness, weakness, loss of mobility
Mental Health IssuesPsychological impact post-accident, including PTSD, anxiety, and depressionWeeks to monthsMood swings, sleep disturbances, fearfulness

Tracking Your Symptoms and Recovery

After an accident, tracking your symptoms and recovery can help you identify delayed injuries and get additional medical help when needed. It also assists your attorney in determining the extent of your injuries, calculating compensation, and proving these damages to insurers.

The following are ways to track your symptoms and document your condition:

  • Keep a Detailed Diary of Your Symptoms: Maintain a journal where you document the onset, duration, and intensity of any symptoms you experience. This should include physical symptoms that could indicate a worsening injury, such as abdominal, neck or back pain, headaches, numbness, swelling, or emotional instability, to help you identify complications.
  • Record Changes in Daily Activities or Abilities: Keep track of any alterations in your daily routines or capabilities due to your injuries. For instance, if you used to read daily but now find it hard to concentrate, this could result from a concussion. Documentation can illustrate the impact of the injury on your everyday life and support compensation claims.
  • Save All Medical Records and Receipts: Collect and organize all your medical documents, including doctor’s notes, test results, and receipts for medications and treatments. These records are vital for substantiating your medical expenses and the nature of your injuries.
  • Note Psychological Symptoms: Document any emotional or psychological symptoms, such as shifts in mood, sleep disturbances, or levels of anxiety and stress. You can even use a mood tracking or journaling app to record these changes. This information can help demonstrate the mental and emotional toll of the accident.

Get Fair Compensation for Your Injuries After an Accident

After a personal injury accident, you deserve a fair recovery award that pays for your damages. Even if your injuries aren’t external, they can wreak havoc on your life, impacting your ability to work and participate in activities you enjoy.

At Cofman Townsley, we can assess the full extent of your damages, including physical and emotional losses. Our team can negotiate with insurance companies for a settlement covering your current and future losses, helping you return to normal.

Contact us today for a free consultation.