Examples of Hidden Auto Accident Injuries

Auto accident injuries are not always obvious. Some injuries don’t leave obvious physical symptoms. Some do not even trigger intense pain immediately, and many people only seek medical care due to serious pain.

Unfortunately, delayed medical care can lead to health complications and delayed recovery. An auto accident defendant can also use the delay to argue for reduced damages. Below are classic examples of auto accident injuries that are not always obvious.

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc occurs if a spinal disc fragment moves out of its usual position into the spinal canal. The displaced fragment usually presses on and pinches the spinal nerves. The injury is possible in any spine section, but it’s particularly common in the lower back and neck region.

A herniated disc isn’t always painful immediately. In some cases, you might only feel numbness or weakness in the affected spinal area. Professional diagnosis often involves various imaging techniques, such as X-rays. Some people choose to ignore mild pain or discomfort, delaying the diagnosis of their injuries, and causing bigger problems later.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) means brain bruising, which usually occurs when your brain hits the inside of your skull. Effects of TBI are many and varied. They include:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Personality changes
  • Irritation
  • Speech impairment
  • Word recall problems
  • Problems transposing numbers

Again, the symptoms do not always show up right away. In the beginning, the symptoms might be too mild for the average person to notice. Medical doctors typically rely on neurological tests to diagnose TBI.


Some people also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after an accident. PTSD is a psychological disorder characterized by disturbing thoughts and feelings related to the traumatic event (in this case, an auto accident). PTSD symptoms, which are many and varied, include:

  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Sleep problems
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Reluctance to drive at all, or go past the scene of the crash

Note that head injuries don’t cause PTSD, so you can suffer the disorder even without head injuries. Ordinary people rarely spot PTSD signs in other people. Even the sufferer might not realize what is going on in their life. A psychological evaluation is necessary to diagnose PTSD.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Injuries to the hard tissues of the body, the bones, and teeth, are easy to diagnose. Soft tissue injuries are more difficult to diagnose. Soft tissues include things like:

  • Ligaments
  • Muscles
  • Tendons

Whiplash, a neck injury that occurs when something snaps the head back and forth, is a typical example of soft tissue injury. Whiplash involves the tendons, ligaments and muscles of the neck. Another example is a shoulder injury that occurs with seat belt pressure into the shoulder due to a car’s impact.

Soft tissue injuries tend to be painful, but the pain usually develops over time. In some cases, the accident victim only realizes their soft tissue injuries after a diagnosis, which usually involves imaging techniques.

Injuries to Internal Organs

Injuries to internal organs also don’t always show up after an accident. Internal organs that might suffer injuries in an auto accident include:

  • Spleen
  • Liver
  • Major blood vessels

The liver’s location in the upper-right abdominal cavity makes it a prime candidate for an auto accident injury.

Soft tissue injuries can be painful, but that is not always the case right away. Note that internal injuries don’t always occur due to penetrating trauma. Blunt force trauma, which might not even cause visible tissue damage, can crush internal organs. Even in fatal accidents, doctors sometimes only identify internal injury as the cause of death during autopsies.

Seek medical consultation after an auto accident even if you feel little pain and suspect your injuries are minor. The consultation may help you diagnose hidden injuries. The consultation will also help you prove your injuries and damages. Contact The Jaklitsch Law Group after your medical care — we will review your case free of charge to determine how to get your damages.


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