Getting into a car accident is a jarring event. Even if you just endure a fender bender, a collision can leave you feeling shaken, anxious, and more often than not, addled by physical pain. The latter is true even if you do not immediately see any visible evidence of an injury. While a broken bone or laceration will likely be apparent as soon as it occurs, there are other injuries that can be serious yet invisible.

The following are three examples of injuries that can occur because of an auto collision that may not be immediately visible following the incident. Be careful, and if you have been involved in a wreck, do not assume that you are uninjured just because you do not see visible symptoms.

Bruises and hematomas

A bruise may not seem like a serious injury, but it can often be symptomatic of a bigger and more serious injury. Bruises happen when physical trauma breaks the blood capillaries in a person’s tissues and causes the blood to then spread into the surrounding tissues. The brown or blue appearance that a bruise develops is indicative of a hematoma, which can be a critical medical condition. 

Whiplash, sprains and strains

Whiplash, sprains and strains are also typically invisible immediately after the accident that causes them. According to the Mayo Clinic, strains happen when muscle tears or stretches excessively, and a sprain occurs when ligaments are stretched or torn. Though these injuries can impact any part of the body, whiplash is the most common form and takes place when the neck is strained.

Traumatic brain injuries

Perhaps the most alarming injury one can suffer as a result of a car accident is a traumatic brain injury. TBIs are potentially deadly injuries that can impact a person’s physical functions, behavioral habits and general disposition. Depending on the severity of a TBI, recovery may or may not be possible, but this injury can occur in accidents involving direct trauma to the head.