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The Importance of Medical Attention After a Car Accident

 Posted on November 21, 2023 in Uncategorized

Will County Personal Injury LawyerEach year, approximately 40,000 people are killed in car accidents. Here in Illinois, fatal crashes are responsible for killing more than 1,300 people annually, making the state the eighth highest in vehicle deaths. Fortunately, not all crashes are fatal ones, however, with an estimated 7 million car accidents occurring each year, hundreds of thousands of motorists are left injured. These injuries can range from catastrophic to mild. What many people involved in accidents do not realize is that even an apparent minor crash can result in serious injuries. This is why it is important for anyone involved in a car accident to seek medical attention right away. As an Illinois personal injury attorney can explain, failure to do so can jeopardize any car accident claim you may want to pursue.

Fight or Flight

As anyone who has been in a car accident can likely attest, even a minor crash can be an emotionally jarring experience. The sounds of squealing tires, crunching metal, and smashed glass as the vehicles make impact – as well as the force of that impact – can be frightening, putting the body into a fight or flight response. This response is an automatic physiological reaction that is part of the human evolutional process. If the body perceives a threat, the nervous system is activated, triggering a stress response and alerting the body to get ready to fight or flee the situation.  

During this response, the body releases two hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) that deviate blood flow to major muscles, speed up the heart rate, and affect other autonomic functions, boosting the body’s energy level and strength – which in turn gives the body the energy and strength to fight or flee.

Obviously, in a car accident situation, most people do not fight or flee, but those hormones still give the body that boost, masking pain from any injuries, which is why many people do not realize they have suffered an injury during the crash. It is not until hours or even days later, as the emotional and physical reaction to the crash settles that symptoms of the injury begin to appear.

Delayed Symptoms

These delayed symptoms are one reason why it is so important for anyone who has been in a crash to seek medical treatment immediately following the accident. Some of the symptoms to watch for that could indicate that there is an injury that needs to be treated include:

  • Abdominal pain: This could indicate internal bleeding. Any type of purple bruising, fainting, or dizzy spells can also indicate internal bleeding.

  • Back pain: This could indicate a herniated disc, ligament injury, spinal cord injury, or whiplash.

  • Emotional distress: This could indicate a brain injury, concussion, or PTSD.

  • Headaches: This could indicate a blood clot, brain injury, concussion, or whiplash.

  • Numbness or tingling: This could indicate whiplash or damage to nerves around the spine.

  • Shoulder or neck pain: This could indicate a spinal cord injury or whiplash.

If a person who has been in a crash is suffering from any of these injuries, they should immediately contact their physician, even if they had already been checked out after the crash. These are symptoms of potentially serious injuries, and if these symptoms are ignored, the individual could suffer even more catastrophic – if not fatal – injuries.

Contact Our Will County Personal Injury Lawyers for Help

If you have been injured in a crash, see a doctor immediately to ensure that you 1.) protect your health and well-being and 2.) protect your right to pursue damages against the party responsible for the crash. Call Rathbun, Cservenyak & Kozol LLC at 815-730-1977 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled Joliet, IL car accident attorneys.

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