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What Do Bruises Mean After an Accident?

Colburn Law

Accidents can cause many different types of injuries, from broken bones to traumatic brain damage. Bruises are one of the most common injuries that can happen after this level of trauma. This type of injury can be painful and take a few days or weeks to heal. In some cases, a bruise can be a symptom of an underlying condition.

If you have suffered a bruise after a car accident, it is critical to seek medical attention as soon as you can to rule out any potentially dangerous conditions. It is also important to remember that bruises can happen anywhere on the body, including the skin, muscles, bones, organs, and the brain.

What Causes Bruising?

Bruises happen when the soft tissues of the body experience trauma. As a result, the small capillaries and blood vessels break and start to leak. Blood pools under the surface of the injury, leading to a bruise. On the skin, a bruise may appear red, purple, blue, or even black. As it starts to heal, the bruise may turn yellow, green, or light brown.

Bruising can happen after many types of accidents, including:

Bruises are sometimes called contusions. In severe cases, you may develop a serious injury similar to bruising known as a hematoma. These injuries happen when a very large amount of blood forms in the affected area, leading to a lump that needs to be drained. Hematomas often occur in the brain, face, or abdomen, causing severe symptoms like swelling, tenderness, and pain.

What Do Bruises Mean After an Accident?

When Should You Worry About a Bruise?

Most bruises heal on their own over time without medical attention. However, in some cases, a bruise is a sign of something much more serious, like brain damage, broken bones, internal bleeding, or organ problems. If your bruise does not heal or disappear after at least 2 weeks, or the area remains swollen and tender, you should go to the doctor immediately. 

If you experience any of the following symptoms after the accident, you should seek emergency attention immediately:

  • Pain that lasts longer than a couple of days
  • A lump that appears under the bruise
  • Numbness or weakness in the limbs
  • Loss of function in the affected joint, muscle, or limb
  • A bruise that increases in size or density
  • Abnormal bleeding in the gums
  • Blood in the urine or the stool
  • Frequent nose bleeds
  • Changes in your vision

Generally, it is a smart idea to seek medical care after any type of accident, even if you do not feel hurt at first. Many injuries do not show symptoms or even appear for a few hours or days following the initial accident. Seeking medical attention can help you avoid and treat potentially dangerous complications.

Pursuing Compensation for Bruising in an Accident

If you were involved in an accident and suffered bruising, organ damage, or any other type of injury, you may be eligible for financial compensation. In Washington, victims of accidents have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person or entity responsible. These claims allow you to recover a settlement to pay for medical care, lost wages, and other damages.

In these situations, you need an attorney who can represent your claim and fight for your right to recovery. As soon as possible after your accident, seek treatment for any injuries that you may have sustained. Then, contact a Washington personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.