woman with migraine following car accident

Invisible Injuries Following a Car Wreck

Car accidents can result in a multitude of injuries, some of which are immediately apparent, while others, sometimes termed “invisible injuries,” can lurk beneath the surface. These can range from subtle physical damage, such as whiplash or internal injuries, to psychological impacts, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Below we will explore the complexity and implications of such injuries, emphasizing their potential severity, the importance of their detection, and their significant role in personal injury legal cases.

Understanding Invisible Injuries

Invisible injuries, as the name suggests, are those that are not immediately visible or noticeable following a car accident. They often involve harm that has occurred internally or is psychological in nature. The true extent of these injuries may not become apparent until hours, days, or even weeks after the accident, making them particularly insidious. Examples of such injuries include:

  • Concussion: This is a type of traumatic brain injury that can occur when the force of a collision causes the brain to jolt against the interior of the skull.
  • Internal Bleeding: Internal bleeding can result from blunt trauma, potentially causing damage to organs.
  • Whiplash: Whiplash, which is a soft tissue injury, is caused by the abrupt back-and-forth motion of the head and neck.
  • Emotional trauma: This refers to conditions like PTSD, anxiety, and depression, which may develop in response to the stressful event.

The symptoms of invisible injuries can be quite varied. Some may manifest as physical discomfort, such as persistent headaches, dizziness, or unexplained pain. Others may appear as changes in behavior or emotional state, such as irritability, difficulty concentrating, or persistent fear and anxiety. Regardless of the nature of the symptoms, these invisible injuries can have long-term effects on a person’s health and quality of life, making it crucial to recognize and treat them promptly.

Detection and Diagnosis of Invisible Injuries

Identifying invisible injuries necessitates a thorough medical evaluation, often requiring a range of diagnostic tests. For physical injuries like internal bleeding or concussions, healthcare professionals might employ imaging techniques such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans or Computed Tomography (CT) scans. These tests provide detailed images of the body’s interior, helping detect any damage that may not be visible from the outside. With respect to emotional trauma, mental health professionals may use interviews and validated questionnaires to identify signs of conditions such as PTSD, anxiety, or depression.

It’s crucial for anyone involved in a car accident to seek medical attention promptly, even if they feel fine initially. Many invisible injuries do not manifest immediately and can worsen if left untreated. Furthermore, keeping detailed medical records following an accident is vital. These records not only facilitate the treatment process, but they can also serve as important evidence in a personal injury claim.

Legal Implications of Invisible Injuries

Invisible injuries carry significant legal implications, particularly in personal injury cases stemming from car accidents. Unlike physical injuries such as broken bones or visible wounds, invisible injuries can be more challenging to prove in court. These injuries often lack the clear, visible proof typically associated with accident-related harm, which can make them harder to quantify and easier to dispute by defense attorneys and insurance companies.

Despite these challenges, invisible injuries are as valid and impactful as visible ones, and victims are entitled to seek compensation for them. Compensation can cover medical bills for diagnosis and treatment, lost wages due to time off work, and even damages for pain and suffering. However, to effectively claim this compensation, a solid legal strategy is required. This strategy usually includes gathering substantial medical evidence, expert testimonies from healthcare providers, and sometimes even employing the services of accident reconstruction experts.

Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can be crucial in these cases. They can navigate the complexities associated with proving invisible injuries, ensure appropriate medical documentation is collected, and advocate on your behalf to insurance companies or in court.

Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman Can Support You

Invisible injuries from car accidents can have serious, long-lasting impacts on your health and quality of life. Given their hidden nature and the complexities associated with proving them legally, having experienced legal counsel on your side is crucial. The attorneys at Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman understand the intricacies of invisible injuries and are ready to fight for the compensation you deserve.

If you’ve experienced a car accident and suspect you may have invisible injuries, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a consultation, and let us help you navigate the legal process.

About the Author
Jefferson D. Gilder is a Partner at Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman and was admitted to the Mississippi and Tennessee Bars in 1990. Mr. Gilder is admitted to practice in all courts in Mississippi and Tennessee including Federal Court, the Fifth and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Gilder's areas of practice include personal injury, criminal, medical malpractice, civil rights, and product liability. Mr. Gilder spent his first ten years as an attorney practicing with his father, Robert G. Gilder, at Gilder Law Firm in Southaven, Mississippi before forming Gilder, Howell & Assoc., P.A. with Jamie W. Howell, Jr. in June of 2000. This firm although as another legal entity has now combined their resources and experience with Chatham – Pittman, to form Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman. If you have any questions about this article, you can reach Jefferson through our contact page.