Even a minor car accident can be very traumatic and upsetting and it is the sort of incident that can easily leave a mental as well as a physical scar.
The mental trauma can be immediate in the aftermath of an accident but it is possible that the physical impact of the incident might not be immediate.
It could be that your car accident will result in a personal injury claim and one issue that you will need to consider if this is the case, is how you can protect your health as well as your legal rights if your accident injuries are not immediately apparent.
Here is an overview of what might be happening to your body after suffering a car accident and some suggestions on what medical action you might need to take.
Your body will react to an accident
A fundamental point about being involved in such a traumatic event as a car accident is that there is a clearly defined physical response to the event that could delay the onset of a reaction to the incident.
Your body will initiate a physiological reaction to something as frightening and challenging as being involved in a car accident and this means that your levels of adrenaline and endorphins will be much higher than normal.
What this means is that this natural chemical reaction will be trying to block the feelings of pain and giving your body the opportunity to delay its reaction to the trauma.
Inevitably, your adrenaline level will subside and this is the point where you might start to experience a level of physical pain that you were not immediately aware of shortly after the crash.
You might think you feel fine straight after the accident but it could be that your body is delaying the reaction, so it makes sense to seek medical attention if you think you don’t need it because your body is protecting you.
Soft tissue injuries take longer to impact
If you break a leg or arm in an accident you know about it immediately in terms of physical appearance, but you can suffer soft tissue damage on impact and that could take a while to come to the surface.
When you are involved in a car accident you are subjecting your body to a violent impact, even when you were not traveling at much speed, and it is this scenario that inevitably puts a great deal of stress on your joints.
It also has the potential to affect your ligaments, muscles, and tendons, all of which are classed as soft tissue.
A very typical example of this sort of reaction would be when you develop what is known as a whiplash injury.
This occurs when your head and neck are jolted suddenly and violently on impact and a whiplash injury can take days or even weeks to fully develop.
Don’t ignore any pain or discomfort you are experiencing after the accident, as there is a chance that these could be symptoms of whiplash or similar injury.
Something going on inside your head
Head injuries can be notoriously challenging to identify, especially in the immediate aftermath of a car accident.
The major issue with a concussion injury is that there could some serious problems developing within your skull and brain but it may not be obvious straight away.
Symptoms you have to look out for included a noticeable deterioration in your ability to think clearly and concentrate, and some physical reactions such as nausea, constant headaches, blurred vision, and feeling dizzy.
This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms and the main point to remember is that you should always be mindful that you may have suffered a concussion after an accident and it pays to be vigilant and act if you suffer any symptoms associated with concussion.
Get a professional opinion
Even if you think you feel fine or only experience a mild level of pain and discomfort after the accident it is still considered prudent to get your injuries and general physical condition evaluated as soon as possible.
Although you may not be thinking about any compensation claim at such an early stage after the crash it should be noted that your actions could have a big impact on the outcome of any subsequent claim you make.
It is best practice to cover all the bases by getting a doctor to evaluate your condition as it provides some reassurance that you are going to be fine and the fact that there is a documented history that you sought medical attention should help substantiate your claim at a later date.
Not going to see your doctor or visiting a hospital after the accident is not a good move on two counts.
Firstly, you could be risking a delayed physical response to your injuries going undetected and that means you may be vulnerable to a head injury, for example, that should have been treated and could develop into something more serious if left unchecked.
Secondly, you could be harming your ability to make a claim for compensation if you can’t subsequently demonstrate that you sought medical attention for your injuries, as this could be viewed that you didn’t suffer that badly, even if it turns out you did.
The overriding point to remember is that just because your body and mind are telling you that you feel perfectly fine, even if you are bit shaken by the incident, there is always the chance that you are not in as good a shape as you might think.
It is never a pleasant experience when you are involved in a car accident and it’s only natural that you might want to try and put the situation behind you as quickly as possible, but that is a feeling that you should work hard to resist.
Get your body checked over to make sure that everything is actually ok and then you can focus on getting some compensation for the accident to help you get back on track as quickly as possible.