When vehicles collide, everything seems to stop. Traffic on either side of the highway slows to a crawl. Whatever you had planned for the immediate future is now on hold, especially if you are in one of the vehicles that just crashed. Pennsylvania emergency medical responders may look you over, check for broken bones and bandage any bleeding wounds. They may transport you to a hospital for a more thorough evaluation.
It is your right to refuse that evaluation, and you may think it is okay to do so. After all, the accident has already cost you time, and you probably want to get back to your routine as quickly as possible. However, refusing to seek treatment may be dangerous. Automobile accidents can leave victims with unseen injuries, and leaving those injuries unchecked may lead to serious complications.
Symptoms of an internal injury
One injury that may show no immediate symptoms is internal bleeding. Without a proper medical evaluation, you may be unaware that one of your internal organs has suffered injury and is bleeding into your body cavities. You may not realize you have an injury until you lose a considerable amount of blood. Some of the signs of internal bleeding include the following:
- Pain in your abdomen
- Difficulty breathing
- Bruising around your middle
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blood in your stool or urine
- Pain in your chest
You may also experience the symptoms of anemia from blood loss, such as dizziness, weakness or fatigue. If you lose a substantial amount of blood, your body may go into shock. This could be fatal, and medical attention is essential if you experience these signs:
- Drop in blood pressure
- Increased heartbeat
- Lethargy or confusion
Your doctor will likely run tests to confirm you are bleeding internally and to locate and assess the injury. You may be able to heal with rest and medication, but an injury from a trauma may require surgical intervention, especially if you have an internal wound that is causing significant blood to pool inside you.
Recovery from an internal injury stemming from a motor vehicle accident may be long and difficult, particularly if you are also dealing with other injuries. While your first thought was to get your life back on track as quickly as possible, you may now be facing extended time off work, mounting medical bills and the possibility of future expenses related to your accident and injuries. To assist you with these concerns, you have every right to seek the help of a legal professional.