Do You Have Bruises After a Fort Worth Car Accident?
Make sure you protect your legal rights and options
When your body takes the impact of a car crash, one of the most common injuries is bruising. While most bruises are minor injuries that heal on their own, you still need to take your health seriously. Whether you have an immediately visible seatbelt injury or experienced delayed bruising after a car accident, you should get checked out by a doctor to make sure you don’t have a deeper underlying injury—and follow your doctor’s instructions.
You should also talk to a car accident attorney. You get one shot at full compensation after a car accident, and you need to act quickly to protect your rights under Texas law. If you were bruised in a car accident anywhere in the Fort Worth area, talk to Coby L. Wooten, Attorney at Law, P.C. today.
How car accidents cause bruising
A bruise, also known as a contusion, is a type of skin injury that happens when small blood vessels (veins and capillaries) are broken by the force of impact. The damaged vessels leak and cause blood to get trapped under the skin, forming a visible discolored mark. Car accidents can cause bruises in several ways, including:
- Bruises from airbags: Depending on how the airbag hits the body, it can cause injuries in the form of bruising on the face, chest, arms, or legs. Airbag injuries can also include internal bruises on the organs in your upper body.
- Seat belt injuries: When the body is thrown forward against the seat belt, the shoulder belt can cause bruising to the neck, chest, back, or abdomen. The lap belt can likewise cause bruises to the abdomen, thighs, or groin.
- Black eye: A black eye is a bruise surrounding the eye socket, which may be sustained in a car crash if you hit your head on a seat, window, steering wheel, or dashboard.
- Bone bruises: Contusions can form on any bone in the body, but they’re most common in bones that are close to the skin, such as the kneecap, tailbone, elbow, and the bones in the forearms (radius and ulna). Bone bruises are especially painful and can take weeks or months to heal.
- Brain bruise: The force of a car accident can cause the head to move back and forth violently, which can, in turn, cause a “coup-contrecoup” concussion injury to the brain – an initial bruise where the brain hits one side of the skull, and a second bruise where the other side of the brain hits the other side of the skull.
- Hematoma: If the damage to blood vessels below the skin is significant enough, a collection of blood called a hematoma can form under the skin.
- Delayed bruising: While most bruises are visible immediately after the crash, some may form days or weeks later. A delayed bruise is usually an indication of internal bleeding or another internal injury.
How long does it take bruises to heal after a car accident?
Most bruises heal in about two weeks, depending on the victim’s age and the severity of the injury. If a bruise is healing properly, its color will change over time. Most bruises start reddish, then turn dark blue or black as the hemoglobin in the blood loses its oxygen, and then turn green, yellow, and eventually brown as the body reabsorbs the pooled blood.
However, some bruises take significantly longer to heal or even get worse over time. That’s because a bruise isn’t always just a bruise – it could be indicative of a more significant injury.
A bruise can be an injury warning sign
Depending on the type and location, bruising can be a sign of a much more serious internal injury. For example, the “seat belt mark” or “seat belt sign” – a characteristic bruise across the upper body where the seat belt was located – is associated with internal organ injuries, according to studies.
Black eyes and facial bruises could be indicative of an eye or brain injury. Bruises can also become infected, which can lead to serious complications such as sepsis. And a bruise that appears at a later time after the crash is often an indication of internal bleeding, which can be deadly if not treated by a doctor.
The bottom line: you can’t diagnose yourself, especially in the immediate aftermath of a wreck when your adrenaline levels are high. See a doctor. Get tests done and go to your follow-up appointments. It’s the best option for your health – and it protects your legal rights if you later need to file an injury claim.
A car accident lawyer can help you pursue maximum value
Even if you think your injuries are minor, it’s in your interest to talk to an attorney right away. As previously mentioned, bruises can be a warning sign of a much more serious injury that may require expensive medical treatment. The last thing you want is to take a “lowball” settlement offer from an insurance company before the full extent of your injury is known.
Moreover, even a minor injury can have a significant effect on your life if it interferes with your ability to work or care for your family. You can also pursue compensation for losses such as pain and suffering and emotional distress – and if you have a physical injury, even if it’s minor, your case for those damages is much stronger.
There’s no cost and no obligation if you talk to a lawyer, just honest answers about your legal rights and options. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident anywhere in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, make sure you know your rights. Schedule your free consultation with attorney Coby Wooten today.