Even if you drive a vehicle with an excellent safety rating, you have some chance of suffering a serious injury in a motor vehicle accident. After all, roughly 4.4 million Americans sustain injuries in car crashes annually, with thousands suffering catastrophic bodily harm.
With many injuries, pain and other symptoms appear immediately. Sometimes, though, injury symptoms may not show up until days or weeks later. Despite the delay in the onset of symptoms, car accident injuries often require immediate medical treatment.
The body’s stress response
You have probably heard about the body’s fight or flight response to stressful situations. This response is due to the brain’s release of stress hormones and other chemicals. Along with masking pain, your body’s stress response may slow bleeding, bruising and other signs of trauma.
The nature of certain injuries
Sometimes, car accidents cause injuries to parts of the body that have few pain receptors. Your internal organs fall into this category. While internal bleeding or organ damage may be life-threatening, you simply may not feel much discomfort.
The downside of waiting
Modern medicine gives doctors and other health care professionals a variety of options for treating accident-related injuries. Still, like with other injuries and illnesses, early detection of accident-associated injuries is often critical. If you wait to seek medical care, physicians may have limited treatment options. You may also suffer additional health consequences from delaying treatment.
While medical care can be expensive, you cannot afford to take your health for granted. Ultimately, regardless of how you feel after a car accident, it is always advisable to go to the emergency room for a full medical evaluation.