Car crashes range in severity. Walking away from it unscathed may provide you with a false sense of relief.
Even though 2020 saw fewer cars on the roads, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety reported that fatalities totaled 394, the highest since 2015. While fatal injuries may prove obvious, other serious ones may not. You may not believe a checkup is necessary, but erring on the side of caution may prove lifesaving in some situations.
Your headache intensifies
A headache that lingers or worsens following an accident may signal a brain injury. Contrary to popular belief, your brain may become injured without a direct blow. Sliding and striking the skull as the force of the crash forces the head to snap may cause a brain injury. Signs the brain is in distress include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Extreme lethargy
- Mood swings
- Auditory or visual impairments
Your bruising spreads
You may expect a bruise from the seatbelt after a crash. However, when that bruise or any other one spreads, you may have an internal bleed. While a bruise typically darkens before improving, one that gets larger and turns deep purple or black may indicate that an organ or vessel is actively bleeding.
Your extremities tingle
Loss of sensation in the arms or legs may signal damage in some part of your central nervous system. This may occur with a nerve impingement due to swelling of muscle groups, or it may signal something even more serious. A spinal cord injury may manifest with numbness or tingling in one or all extremities. It means that you may have a disc exerting pressure somewhere along the column.
The damage a car sustains in a crash does not always indicate what your body has endured. You should seek medical treatment after any type of car accident.