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Hidden Injuries after a Car Accident

Colburn Law

After a car accident, you may notice some injuries immediately. A broken bone, a cut, a bruise, or other types of damage can cause severe pain and have obvious symptoms. However, some injuries may not show symptoms until hours or even days after the crash. 

From internal bleeding to traumatic brain damage, hidden injuries after a car accident can be extremely dangerous. To protect yourself in these situations, seek immediate medical care and keep an eye out for common complications. 

Herniated Discs

Each vertebra of the spinal cord is cushioned by a soft, jelly-like sac called a spinal disc. During a car accident, a disc can slip out of place or become ruptured, leading to serious pain and discomfort. 

Some herniated discs cause immediate symptoms. However, you may not notice this injury if you suffer nerve damage in the accident. Over time, you may start to develop symptoms like numbness, tingling, burning, or muscle weakness as the nerve damage continues. 


Whiplash is an injury that occurs when your upper body moves back and forth rapidly, damaging the soft tissues in the neck and shoulders. Symptoms of whiplash can be extremely painful and uncomfortable, but they may not appear immediately after the crash. 

Hidden Injuries After a Car Accident

Brain Injuries

The brain is one of the most important organs in the human body. The force and impact of a car accident can cause swelling, bleeding, or bruising in the brain, resulting in serious complications. Injuries like concussions may not show symptoms until a few hours following the initial impact.

Without prompt treatment, a brain injury can be very dangerous. If you notice any of the following symptoms, seek medical care as soon as possible:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Persistent headache
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness or numbness in the fingers or toes
  • Convulsions or seizures

Internal Organ Damage

Internal organs can suffer serious damage during a car accident, leading to bleeding and loss of organ function. However, damage to organs like the liver, kidney, spleen, lungs, or heart may not show symptoms until you start to decline. To avoid potentially fatal complications, it is important to have a doctor check for signs of organ damage after a car accident.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Car accidents can be scary and traumatic events. Many people who are injured in these collisions sustain emotional and psychological damage. In some cases, car accident victims develop mental health disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PTSD is a serious psychological condition that is characterized by symptoms like flashbacks, nightmares, and avoidance of activities or places that remind you of the traumatic event. It is important to seek mental health support as soon as possible after the crash to reduce the impact of PTSD and discuss your options for treatment.

Speak to a Washington Car Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a car accident in Washington, you could pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit against the driver who was responsible for the crash. Seeking medical care for hidden injuries is one important step that you can take to gather evidence for your future claim.

The next important step is to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. A Washington car accident lawyer can represent your lawsuit and help you recover the settlement that you deserve. Contact an attorney after your crash to discuss your next steps.