If you’ve experienced a car crash, you likely know what an impact such an event has on you psychologically. At the moment of the accident, you may feel a boost of energy or even a sense of calm. These are normal responses and are caused by your body’s release of hormones like adrenaline and endorphins.
Unfortunately, for most people car accidents also mean pain following the incident. This pain may be almost immediate, or it may take some time to manifest itself. If you’re feeling any pain after your car crash, you’ll need to know the steps to take. Let’s look at what to do if you’re in pain after a car crash.
Types of Pain Following a Car Crash
There are several types of pain you may experience after you’ve been in a wreck. Some of the causes of your pain are more serious than others – some may even be life-threatening. Let’s look at what kind of pain you may be experiencing.
Pain from Soft Tissue Injuries
When you’re in an accident, your body is jolted around quite a bit, and quite suddenly. The force from the accident will cause your body to be tossed around the vehicle and can cause soft tissue injuries.
Soft tissue injuries aren’t usually felt right away. Rather, they may take days or weeks to manifest. That’s why it’s important that you visit a doctor immediately following your accident. Injuries like whiplash may have occurred, even if you don’t feel any pain at all.
Pain from Back Injuries
Again, even if you don’t feel pain at the time of the accident, take all precautions and visit a medical practitioner. You may have experienced back injuries that will cause you pain later. Your doctor can perform all necessary tests to ensure your spine is in good shape following your crash.
Remember that your body releases hormones when experiencing a stressful situation like a car crash. These hormones can temporarily block your pain, which may then resurface later.
It’s not uncommon to experience a concussion following a car accident. If your head is struck, perhaps by the steering wheel, you may have a concussion. In fact, your brain may collide with your skull even if your head doesn’t hit anything at all.
Allow the paramedics to assist you following your accident, then visit a medical professional afterward. The pain associated with a concussion may include headache, but more commonly you’ll experience dizziness, altered sleep patterns, or blurred vision. You may also feel an inability to concentrate in the days following your accident.
Pain from Burns
If you’ve been burned in your car accident, this will more than likely cause you a great deal of pain in the days and weeks following. Seek treatment for the proper care of your burns; treatment will vary with the severity of your injury.
Minor burns, such as those from a seatbelt or airbag, may cause minimal, temporary pain that can be treated at home. More severe burns, such as those from vehicle fires, can cause pain, injury and scarring that can last a lifetime.
Broken and Fractured Bones
Broken bones following an accident are quite common, and they do cause pain. The presence of a broken bone can usually only be determined by x-ray, so do seek medical treatment right away.
In some instances, the pain from a broken bone may not be noticeable at the time of a car crash. However, even if you experience pain several days after your wreck, it’s not too late to seek medical advice.
What to Do if You’re in Pain After a Car Crash
When you’re involved in a car accident, always call for emergency services. You will need police, ambulance and sometimes fire services at the scene as soon as possible.
Police will want to take a report and determine what happened in your accident. Obviously, you’ll want to let them do their job. But remember that your health is your top priority, so please do not refuse the attention of medical professionals.
Paramedics will offer a preliminary assessment of you and your passengers upon arrival. They’ll check for signs of shock, of concussion, and other critical injuries. You will then typically have the option of being transported to the hospital.
No matter how you get there, do visit the hospital. Only there can a qualified doctor perform a more thorough assessment of your physical state. This information is critical to your case should you find yourself in court with insurance companies.
What to Do if Your Pain is Delayed
It may be days or weeks before you begin to experience pain due to a car accident. If this is the case, it’s not too late.
Because you were examined by medical professionals after your crash, your hospital system has pertinent information to your care. Your doctors can now reference that information and determine whether your new pain is related to the accident.
If you declined a hospital visit, your doctors may not have all the information they need to treat you immediately. Additional testing may be necessary, and because of the delay in care it may be inconclusive.
Regardless of your situation, it’s advisable that you call an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced car accident attorney can begin collecting information needed to deal with insurance companies.