According to psychologist and author Steven Pinker, Americans are safer, more educated, wealthier, and have a longer life expectancy than ever before in history.

However, accidents, illnesses, and injuries are often unavoidable. Even minor injuries, when left untreated, can lead to much more severe medical problems that may become life-threatening.

Injury is the number one cause of death in Indiana for people ages 1 through 44, and it is the fourth leading cause of death in the state overall. It’s important to avoid neglecting an injury, even if it appears minor. Although the cost of medical treatment can be expensive, you may be entitled to compensation if your injury was caused by someone else. The Indianapolis personal injury lawyers at Wagner Reese can help you get compensation for your injury-related expenses.

Minor Injuries That Can Become Life-Threatening

Minor injuries are easy to ignore, but you should always seek medical attention if you experience prolonged discomfort. Here are some injuries that may seem minor on the surface, but can become life-threatening when left untreated:

Head Injuries:

All head injuries should be treated as serious, especially if someone loses consciousness or experiences bleeding or swelling. In many cases, people may not feel the repercussions of a brain injury immediately after an incident. According to the Mayo Clinic, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) may not show symptoms for days or even weeks. These injuries can result in loss of cognitive function, coma, and even death.

Symptoms of a TBI include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Speech difficulties
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of coordination and balance
  • Mood swings
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Concentration difficulties

Head injuries are often caused by falls, car accidents, sports, or occupational accidents.

Animal Scratches:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), animal scratches and bites can be extremely dangerous. Cat scratch disease (CSD) affects 12,000 people every year, with 500 hospitalizations. CSD can spread to the eyes, heart, brain, and internal organs, contributing to severe bacterial infections, which may be fatal in some cases.

Avoid interacting with unfamiliar animals and consider seeking medical care if you’re bitten or scratched, even if it’s minor.

Impact to the Chest or Abdomen:

People can endure serious injuries from impacts to their abdomen or chest. These injuries often occur during sports, car accidents, or falls. In some circumstances, these injuries may cause life-threatening injuries without treatment.

Internal bleeding is an extremely serious health concern that usually occurs due to trauma to the torso. It can be challenging to detect without medical experience, since symptoms may not be visible. What’s more, internal bleeding can occur from seemingly minor trauma, and it may be delayed for several days.

If you experience a blow to your chest or abdomen that leaves lingering effects, such as weakness, numbness, vomiting, or chest pain, consult a doctor immediately.


Infections can occur in any wound, including cuts, scrapes, punctures, or surgical wounds. Pathogenic bacteria are harmful, and when they infect a wound, they can become very dangerous. Sepsis can occur if an infection is left untreated. It causes an extreme reaction within the body and is life-threatening.

Symptoms of infection include:

  • Fever
  • General fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Swelling of the neck, groin, or armpits

If you’re cut, monitor your wound and look for:

  • Redness around the wound
  • Swelling and warmth
  • Pus or discharge
  • Delayed healing

What to Do if You’ve Been Injured

If you’ve been injured, first seek any necessary medical attention. Something that may seem insignificant now could develop into a much more serious problem down the line. Next, you should get legal assistance to determine whether you’re entitled to compensation if your injury was caused by someone else. If you plan to file a lawsuit, you usually must do so within two years of the day you were injured, but sooner is always better.

Let Wagner Reese Personal Injury Lawyers Fight For You

Minor injuries can quickly become life-threatening without the proper treatment. If you sustain an injury for which you believe another party is responsible, you may be able to claim compensation for your medical expenses. At Wagner Reese, we have an experienced team of personal injury lawyers who understand the intricacies of Indiana personal injury law.

We offer a free, no-obligation case evaluation to all clients, making the process as stress-free as possible. Contact us today to find out if you are eligible to file a personal injury claim.