Headaches, nausea, dizziness, pain, and anxiety are some of the signs of latent injuries. Latent injuries are the injuries that appear days, weeks, or months after the accident that caused them has occurred. If left undiscovered, these injuries can manifest as significant medical conditions.
Latent injuries commonly affect soft tissue and can appear as cuts and bruises. They can also affect other body parts such as the brain and bones. The latent injuries that affect the brain and bones are less evident at first than those that result in soft tissue damage.
Traumatic brain injuries, whiplash, spinal disc issues, and emotional trauma are common examples of latent injuries that result from accidents. The signs of latent injuries below should make people act quickly to prevent the injuries from worsening.
Headaches following an accident can be a symptom of a concussion. Even when they seem minor, concussions can cause serious problems in the long run, such as memory loss and a higher risk of stroke. Nausea, dizziness, and inability to concentrate are other signs of concussions.
Headaches can also indicate a blood clot or brain injuries. While severe brain injuries may be obvious after an accident, mild brain injuries may become apparent much later. Headaches, dizziness, and sleeping difficulty can also appear if an accident victim experiences whiplash, a common injury resulting from car accidents.
Abdominal pain is usually a symptom of internal injuries. Such injuries could lead to internal bleeding. Aside from abdominal pain, other symptoms of internal bleeding include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Blood in urine
Pain in the neck and shoulder region is a symptom of whiplash.
Back soreness or pain is a common sign of back injuries, such as sprains, strains, muscle injuries, and herniated discs. Back injuries often become apparent after several days or weeks. They can have long-lasting debilitating effects. For example, a spinal cord injury can result in paralysis.
Besides experiencing physical ailments, an accident victim may also see changes in his or her mental state. He or she may experience severe anxiety, which may be a sign of emotional trauma like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Mental health disorders can affect a person’s wellbeing in the long term by resulting in phobias and low self-esteem.
Latent injuries could cause serious health problems in the future. Therefore, it is crucial for victims not to delay treatment. An accident victim should seek treatment even for a minor sign of a latent injury. Latent injuries can be sustained even from minor accidents. For instance, many whiplash injuries occur in accidents at speeds slower than 14 mph.
Since latent injuries do not show up right away, insurance companies can claim that a person’s injuries were not caused by an accident. Seeking treatment soon after an accident helps a victim get proper documentation, which can be used to establish an injury’s root cause. Having a record of the injuries sustained and how they relate to an accident also allows a victim to take the next step, consulting with a personal injury lawyer to hold the party responsible for the injuries accountable.