In the moments after a car crash, some of the injuries that people suffer will be visible and obvious. Broken bones may present grotesque changes to the usual shape of an arm or leg, while a spinal cord injury might prevent someone from getting out of the vehicle at all.

If you don’t notice any obvious external injuries immediately after the crash, you might think that you escaped injury. However, you may have very well incurred an invisible injury that could present severe symptoms in the future if you don’t get the medical care that you need.

You may not notice pain if adrenaline masks your symptoms

The most severe invisible injuries that you can suffer in a car crash usually come with pain. However, your body responds to trauma in a way that might mask your pain sensations. Adrenaline helps you ignore pain so that you can flee a dangerous situation or fight your way out.

While that may have benefited early humans fighting off predators, in a car crash scenario, it could mean that you head to work or back home after the crash because you don’t think that you need to see a doctor. Watching for warning signs of two potentially deadly invisible injuries you can suffer could help keep you and other passengers in your vehicle safer after a crash. 

Internal bleeding can be fatal if left untreated

There are a number of ways that you could suffer injuries that lead to internal bleeding. Violent motion during the crash or getting shoved up against the steering wheel could result in trauma to your chest or abdomen that produces internal bleeding.

You may not realize at first that you have an internal injury because there is no obvious evidence. Warning signs of internal bleeding include dizziness, weakness, numbness and tingling in your extremities.

Brain injuries are a particularly insidious invisible injury

There are many ways that you could hurt your brain during a car crash. You might strike your head on the steering wheel or windshield if you don’t have airbags or if they don’t deploy. You could get so shaken up if your vehicle spins rapidly or flips over that the motion of the crash causes damage to your brain by forcing it to smash into the sides of your skull.

Brain injuries can create a range of symptoms, from loss of physical coordination and ringing in the ears to changes in personality, dizziness and severe headaches. Left untreated, both internal bleeding and brain injuries could be fatal or have increasingly severe consequences for the victim.

Both of these injuries will likely require extensive medical care that your health insurance may not cover if it was part of a car crash. Filing the necessary claim paperwork or pursuing a personal injury claim against the other driver can help you cover the cost of treatment if you suffer a serious but invisible injury in a crash.