You were entering an intersection when you were blindsided by another vehicle. You were fortunate not to hit your head, but all of your airbags deployed, and you were left with a slowly developing bruise in the shape of your seat belt.
Initially, you felt fine at the scene, although you were a little shaken. Your first thought was that you just wanted to go home and relax, so you could unwind.
That’s not the best choice, though. The truth is that you could have delayed-onset injuries that could cause complications or significant pain. Those injuries may develop over the course of the next few hours or days.
Why are some injuries delayed after car crashes?
When you’re involved in a crash, a few things happen. Your body releases endorphins to mask pain, and you may also become energetic thanks to the release of other chemicals, like adrenaline in an adrenaline rush, that are designed to keep you awake and aware of your surroundings.
Thanks, in part, to the body’s fight-or-flight reaction, it’s normal for some people not to realize how badly hurt they are. In fact, an adrenaline rush on its own can:
- Increase your strength temporarily
- Improve your mental focus, so you can think quickly or escape a threat
- Decrease the body’s pain sensations
Adrenaline rushes are part of the reason why there are stories of people doing amazing things, like lifting cars off those who are pinned or walking miles with severe brain injuries. Unfortunately, that rush will end. When it does, the person could be in much worse condition than they thought.
Over the 24 to 48 hours after a car crash, most injuries will appear. That’s why it’s important to seek care immediately. By doing so, the injuries may be identified early, allowing your medical team to treat you before the conditions worsen.
Remember, you should always seek immediate medical care if you’re injured or may have been injured in a crash. Listen to your medical team, and follow their recommendations. Your attorney will help you move forward with your case, but you do need to put your health first.