Traffic accidents are a leading cause of injury in the U.S. In fact, approximately 4.4 million Americans require medical care after a crash every single year. Sadly, around 38,000 individuals die annually from the injuries they suffer in collisions on U.S. roadways.
Because your body’s normal response to a stressful car accident may mask injury symptoms, you should always ask a doctor to examine you even if you feel fine. While it is normal to have some bruising from your car’s seat belt, it is often critical not to ignore a bruise on your torso or across your waist.
Is your bruise only skin deep?
Most bruises come from broken capillaries near the skin. When capillaries rupture, blood pools and causes purple, black, brown or yellow spots. While many bruises go away without medical treatment, others indicate serious problems.
Are you at risk for internal bleeding?
During a car accident, your body may collide with your car’s seat belt, air bag, dash or steering wheel. The impact may be sufficient to damage your heart, veins or arteries. An injury to any part of your circulatory system may cause internal bleeding, which is often a catastrophic injury.
Do you have organ damage?
Your torso houses your liver, kidneys, spleen and other vital organs. Skin discoloration after a car accident may be a symptom of organ damage. Consequently, it is important to inspect your skin in the hours, days and weeks after an accident to ensure you do not have an organ injury.
Ultimately, unless you have extensive medical training, you probably cannot tell the difference between a harmless bruise and a medical emergency. Undergoing a full medical examination may not only save your life, but it is also likely to put your mind at ease.