Car accidents cause injury to thousands of people in Kentucky every year. In 2020, there were 119,449 car accidents in Kentucky; 708 of those incidents proved fatal. Many injuries suffered in car accidents are immediately apparent, making the need for medical care self-evident. But many victims suffer hidden injuries after an auto accident that may not present themselves until hours, days, or weeks later. Even if you believe you escaped the event unscathed, it’s vital to seek medical attention after a collision. Connecting your injury to your accident is the key to obtaining the compensation you deserve from the liable party.
Top Hidden Injuries After a Car Accident
Many people are unaware of the frequency of auto accidents leading to hidden injuries. Many accident injuries—even those not readily apparent—require extensive physical therapy. Some people may never fully recover and must endure a complete change in their way of life. Here we will touch on a few more common car accident hidden injuries.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
The forceful and sudden impact caused by a collision may cause your head to whip back and forth or strike the steering wheel or window. The effect increases the likelihood of suffering a traumatic brain injury or TBI. Traumatic brain injuries represent one of the more insidious hidden injuries after a car accident. They often go unnoticed initially, but they frequently lead to long-term pain and physical debilitation. A TBI may range in severity from a mild concussion to brain swelling.
Whiplash is another common hidden injury victims suffer after a car accident. Because it is an injury that slowly manifests itself, whiplash may not become apparent until a day or longer. Symptoms of this injury include pain or stiffness at the base of your neck, pain along your shoulders, and headaches. You may need an MRI to determine the scope of your injury.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is a susceptible area of your body. Any damage to the backbone may stop the transmission of nerve signals from the brain to other parts of your body. When permanent, the effects of this disruption usually mean paralysis. Car accidents leading to spinal cord injuries require swift medical intervention to minimize permanent damage.
Internal injuries include broken and fractured ribs. Punctured lungs and internal bruising are also common. Additionally, your internal organs are susceptible to damage in a car accident, especially your liver and kidneys. Seeking medical attention immediately after an accident ensures that the impact of an accident did not cause severe damage to your vital organs. Don’t dismiss serious internal injuries as feeling stiff after an accident. Instead, get checked out by a medical professional to verify nothing is seriously wrong.
Herniated disc injuries occur when the tissue between the vertebrae in your spine rupture. Without this tissue, you experience pressure on the inflamed nerves in your spine, causing excruciating pain and loss of feeling in your arms and legs.
A car accident is an emotionally distressing experience. For many, the experience can impact your psychological state. Those that develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often find that the symptoms manifest in unusual ways. For example, you may be fearful of driving your car again or find it difficult to even sit in a car. Though not physical, psychological injuries are equally debilitating and disruptive to your daily life.
The force of an accident can cause sudden pressure on the area of your body not restrained by a seatbelt. The pressure may also twist your body and cause severe damage to the muscles in your shoulder. These injuries may appear minor but still require multiple surgeries to repair the torn muscles and physical therapy to regain full mobility.
Knee injuries are also common car accident hidden injuries. The impact of an accident may push a driver forward, slamming their knees into the dashboard and steering wheel when hit from behind. You may not immediately realize the tissue around your knee is damaged until the swelling and pain begin to manifest hours after the accident. These subtle injuries may take more time to develop but potentially create long-term severe harm.
What Can I Recover?
If you suffered hidden injuries after a car accident, you are entitled to recover compensation for your losses. Kentucky law permits the recovery of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include financial losses directly related to your injury, including:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Future loss of earnings,
- Property damage.
Receipts, invoices, bills, and other documentary evidence support your claim for economic damages. Retain all documents to help your personal injury attorney calculate your monetary damages.
Non-economic damages are the subjective losses connected to your physical injuries. These include:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of enjoyment of life,
- Loss of consortium.
It’s challenging to successfully recover non-economic damages without the assistance of a qualified personal injury attorney.
In rare cases, you may be eligible to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages seek not to compensate you for your losses; instead, they aim to punish the liable party for their reckless conduct.
At Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC, we are as passionate about your claim as you are. We know the myriad emotions you may be experiencing after an accident—especially one due to someone else’s carelessness. But you shouldn’t have to suffer more for an accident that is not your fault.
Suffering a severe injury due to an accident is always tragic. You deserve to recover compensation from the responsible party so you can move forward with your life. We understand the financial hardship you may face by mounting medical expenses and lost wages due to an inability to work. We are here for you. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.