Motor vehicle collisions on TV and in the movies tend to be loud and dramatic experiences, where the vehicle always winds up catching fire and the people escape near-certain death only through the intervention of a stranger or first responder. The reality of car crashes can be much more banal.
Many times, there is only twisted metal and shattered glass instead of the dramatic flames or explosions people expect after a collision. Just like the media strives to dramatize what a car crash looks like, so too do they make the injuries people suffer after a crash seem more visually obvious. After all, a grotesquely broken arm is going to have more of an impact on a movie audience than invisible internal injuries.
Broken bones and traumatic injuries like a spinal cord injury that prevents you from getting out of your vehicle are always possible in a motor vehicle collision. However, you should also be aware that some of the most serious injuries people can suffer in a crash will not be visible to the naked eye.
Brain injuries sometimes don’t produce symptoms for days
Your skull does an incredible job of keeping your brain safe from blunt-force trauma and random accidents. However, if you do get hit in the head or experience violent shaking, the bruising, bleeding or swelling of your brain that results could put increasing levels of pressure on your brain long after the accident happened. You may not have any external signs of your injuries at all.
Brain injuries can get worse with time without proper treatment. In many cases, people don’t display symptoms right after a crash. It can take time for the bleeding or bruising to impact the brain’s functions. Anyone in a crash where they were thrown around, lost consciousness or suffered a blow to the head should stay on high alert for the symptoms of brain injuries in the days after the crash.
Internal bleeding is a serious condition that can prove fatal
Trauma to the soft tissues of your body may seem like the lowest concern after a crash. If you don’t have broken bones or any other obvious visible injuries, you may feel quite grateful. However, it is possible for the seatbelts, airbag or steering wheel to cause trauma to your abdomen.
The soft center of your body houses the majority of your organs, many of which are vulnerable to damage in a crash. There are also countless blood vessels that help support the muscles and organs in your abdominal cavity. Damage to the organs or bruising inside your abdominal cavity can lead to major loss of blood.
Internal bleeding after a crash could be enough to result in someone’s death. Any sort of traumatic injury to the abdomen or sides typically requires a careful medical examination to rule out internal bleeding or to treat it if it is present.