Those involved in car accidents often end up with significant injuries. However, in many cases, a person gets into an accident and does not realize they have been injured at all. At least not immediately after the incident takes place. It is important for anyone who has been in a car accident to monitor their injuries to ensure they can get proper medical care and to protect their legal rights. There were nearly 400,000 vehicle crashes during the last full reporting year in the state, according to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
What happens to the body in a car accident?
Car accidents are traumatic and often scary events. Our bodies have a way to protect us when these incidents occur by producing an abundance of adrenaline and endorphins. These two chemicals work to charge up our bodies and block us from feeling much pain. That is why most people feel energized and alert after an accident. Just because an accident victim does not feel any pain does not mean that they have not sustained an injury.
Common delayed injuries
Soft Tissue Injuries
This type of injury refers to any damage done to parts of the body other than your bones, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Even slow-speed car crashes generate plenty of force. When a vehicle comes to a sudden stop, our bodies are jolted around inside the passenger area of the vehicle, placing significant stress on joints and other areas of the body.
The most common type of soft tissue injury is “whiplash,” which refers to an injury to the neck muscles when the head is forcefully thrown forwards and backward. These injuries usually result in pain, swelling, and reduced mobility, though they may not show up right away. It can take days for a soft tissue injury to manifest after a crash. Some of the symptoms to look out for concerning soft tissue injuries include:
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Back pain
- Abdominal pain
Our brains are protected by the skull and the fluid inside of it. However, the brain can become injured due to a forceful strike to the head or if the body is violently jolted. When this happens, the brain can strike the inside of the skull, causing a crash victim to sustain a concussion. Concussion symptoms do not always show up immediately after an impact. These symptoms can include:
- Clouded thinking
- Inability to concentrate
- Blurry vision
- Lack of energy
Anyone who experiences these symptoms after a car accident should seek medical assistance immediately.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Car accidents are traumatic events, and they can leave victims with lasting emotional and psychological impact, whether they suffered a physical injury or not. Researchers state that approximately 9% of people who get into a car accident develop symptoms of PTSD.
Always seek medical care after a car accident
If you or someone you love is involved in a car accident, always seek medical assistance, regardless of whether you feel any pain or not. You may be injured and not even know it. By seeking medical care, you are doing two things. First, you are taking care of yourself, which is the most important factor. Second, you are establishing a link between the car accident and any injuries you do have. This increases the likelihood that you will receive a fair settlement for your accident-related expenses.