Assessing Your Injuries After a Car Accident
Unless you have a fortune teller’s crystal ball, you cannot foresee when, where, and if you’ll ever be in a car accident. But you can prepare for the unpredictable by learning in advance how to assess and address your post-crash injuries.
If you’re involved in large collision, emergency medical services will arrive on the scene to give you immediate care. If necessary, they will take you to the nearest hospital. But what if the crash is minor and you’re not sure a visit to the hospital is needed? Here are some points to consider when assessing your injuries.
Don’t Assume You’re Okay
You’ve given yourself a once over and you have no noticeable cuts, breaks, or bruises. In fact, you feel perfectly fine. Don’t assume you are out of the woods. The stress of the crash can produce endorphins and adrenaline that can mask pain in your body. It’s possible to start to feel pain hours or even days after the accident.
Know the Signs of a Concussion
Did you lose consciousness? Are you experiencing seizures or vomiting repeatedly? These are typical signs of a concussion, a minor traumatic brain injury. If you’re experiencing these problems, you need immediate medical attention. However, some symptoms of a concussion are not so obvious and can be delayed by hours or days after your injury. See a medical professional within one or two days of the accident if you hit your head and are experiencing any of the symptoms below:
Whiplash Is a Real Pain
Do you have pain in the neck, shoulders, or head? You may have whiplash. Whiplash is a common injury in rear-end collisions. Although it has been the butt of many jokes, whiplash is not a trivial problem. Most people recover from whiplash in just a few weeks, but some people may develop chronic pain, even experiencing symptoms up to two years after an accident. In addition to neck pain, other whiplash symptoms include blurry vision, ringing in the ears, sleep problems, poor concentration and memory, and weakness.
The Bottom Line: Get Checked Out
No matter if your injuries are mild or severe, it is best to get a medical examination as soon as you can after the accident. As noted above, it is possible to feel unharmed after a crash. But your injuries may not develop until one or two days after the accident. On a legal side note, if you wait too long to seek medical attention, it will be harder to prove that your injuries are the result of the car crash.
Read more about What to Do if You’re In a Car Accident.