Masked Injuries: You could be hurt and not know it
We discuss how “masked” injuries that are undetected by doctors can be disabling, and the importance of reporting all personal injuries within a year
Michigan law requires that auto accident victims report all personal injuries from a car accident within the first 12 months following a crash. This makes it very difficult for auto accident victims who are suffering serious physical injuries, yet have additional injuries that go undetected.
Our car accident attorneys have seen far too many people become ineligible to receive No-Fault benefits for undetected injuries that were not specifically reported to the insurance company within the first year of the auto accident. If you need help now, call one of our car accident attorneys at (800) 777-0028.
Undetected “masked” personal injuries can worsen over time
When accident injuries go undetected due to more serious ones, medical professionals commonly use the term “masking.” Masking explains how the intense pain of one injury can hide or “mask” other personal injuries. For example, broken bones, surgeries and months of recovery with pain medication can mask the effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Many people are completely unaware of the devastating effects of a traumatic brain injury that remained present but not visible under months of pain medication, until they begin to experience the higher cognitive challenges of returning to work.
Or, serious car accident injuries that seem minor can worsen over time, such as nagging neck or back discomfort that suddenly becomes more intense and requires surgery.
The problem of doctors only focusing on physical injuries
Too often, doctors only focus on obvious physical injuries and therefore, do not ask important follow-up questions. When dealing with traumatic brain injury or closed-head injury, it’s essential that treating doctors ask if their patients are having problems with concentration, short-term memory or emotional injuries.
Thousands of Michigan auto accident victims are stuck in unresponsive managed care health insurance plans, where primary doctors can delay for months before writing referrals for (more expensive) visits to medical specialists or for diagnostic testing that can quickly discover a brain injury or other masked injuries.
How to detect masked injuries after an accident
It’s best to inform your doctor and auto insurance company of all of your car accident injuries as soon as possible. Include as much detail as possible when describing your personal injuries, and report everything, even if the injury seems “minor.”
If you have questions, call Michigan Auto Law at (800) 777-0028 as soon as possible. You can also use our free consultation form. With early intervention, our attorneys can help accident victims with masked injuries receive medical treatment and fair compensation.